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S 30. 








Date Due 






CAT. NO. 23233 

Cornell University Library 
N 7326.S32 

Monumental Java. 

3 1924 023 570 496 

The original of tiiis book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 











Unde etiam nunc est mortalibus insitus horror, 
Qui delubra deftm nova toto suscitat orb! 
Terrarum, et festis cogit celebrate diebus : 

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Lib. v. 







S 32- 






If this book needs an apology, it is one to myself 
for taking the public at large into the confidence of 
cherished recollections. The writing was a diver- 
sion from' studies in a quite different direction and 
letting my pen go, while living again the happy 
hours I spent, between arduous duties, with the 
beautiful monuments of Java's past, I did nothing 
but seek my own pleasure. Should it turn out that 
my personal impressions, given in black and white, 
please others too — so much the better. In any 
case they must be taken for what they are : a 
beguilement of lone moments of leisure. 

Whoever find them readable, they will not satisfy, 
I hope, a certain class of critics ; those, I mean, 
who extend the paltry rule of mutual admiration, 
nul naura de I esprit que nous et nos amis, to any 
field they claim their own and " of whom to be dis- 
praised were no small praise." Desirous, I must 
confess, to stimulate their flattering disapproval, I 
hasten to admit in advance my many shortcomings, 
a full list of which they will doubtless oblige me 

vii a 2 


with in due process of censorious comment. My 
work sets up no pretence to completeness : there is 
no full enumeration of all the Hindu and Buddhist 
temples known by their remains ; there are no 
measurements, no technical details, no statistics — 
a great recommendation to my mind, as Dutch 
East Indian statistics go. I am not guilty of an 
ambitious attempt to enrich the world with an ex- 
haustive treatise on ancient Javanese architecture 
and sculpture — far be it from me to harbour such an 
audacious design ! I disclaim even the presumption 
to aspire at being classed as a useful companion on 
a visit to the island ; I deny most emphatically that 
I intend to swell the disquieting number of tourists' 
vade-mecums already up for sale, clamouring for 
recognition, and, horribile dictu, scores more 
coming ! Be they sufficient or insufficient, quali- 
tatively speaking, I am not going to increase their 

So much for what this book is not. What it is, 
I could not help making it, choosing from the 
material stored in my memory ; reliving, as fancy 
dictated in long northern winter evenings, the 
sunny spells between 1874 and 1903 when I might 
call Java my home ; resuming my walks in the 
charming island pjeasance of the East, fain to leave 
the congested main roads and disport myself along 
by-paths and unfrequented lanes where solace 
and repose await the weary wanderer. The under- 
taking, somewhat too confidently indicated by the 
title, tempted to excursions off the beaten historical, 



geographical and archaeological tracks, which 
perhaps will contribute to a better understanding of 
the monuments described in their proper setting, 
their relations to natural scenery and native civilisa- 
tion, but certainly do not tend to conformity with 
the regulation style of compositions of the kind. 
Invoking the aid of Ganesa, the sagacious guide, 
countenancer of poor mortals in creative throes — 
for, thank Heaven ! the fever of production is 
indissolubly one with the anguish that heightens its 
delights, — I never hesitated in letting the idea of 
self-gratification prevail, even when the question of 
illustration arose after the plan had ripened of invit- 
ing indulgent readers to partake. In this respect 
too I struggled free from anxious deliberation : 
Wer gar su viel bedenkt, wird wenig leisten. And, 
Ganesa aiding, the following kaleidoscopic view 
of the land I love so well, was the result of my 
delicious travail. 

Looking for the flowers in the ill-kept garden of 
Java, the delinquencies of the gardeners could not 
be ignored and here I touch the unpleasant side of 
the recreation I sought, especially disagreeable when 
proposing to strangers that they should share ; but 
a picture needs shade as well as light to become 
intelligible. And to paint true to life the picture 
of Dutch East Indian passivity (activity only in 
vandalism !) regarding treasures of art inconvertible 
into cash, shade ought to be preponderant and light 
relegated to the subordinate place of a little star 
glimmering dimly in the darkness, a little star of 


hope for the future. Disinclined, however, to spoil 
my pleasure by dwelling on the tenebrous general 
aspect of governmental archaeology in the past, I 
have no more than mentioned such disgraceful inci- 
dents as the Mendoot squabbles, and omitted, e.g., all 
reference to such ludicrously heated controversies 
as that about the kala-makara versus the garuda- 
naga ornament, exhaustive of the energy which 
the officially learned might have employed to so 
much greater advantage by rescuing the venerable 
temples they fought over, from decay and willful 

The neglect of the ancient monuments of Java 
has been nothing short of scandalous, the evil effects 
of the habitual languid detachment of the colonial 
authorities from the business they are supposed to 
look after, being, in their case, intensified by acts 
of dilapidation which even a Government centuries 
back on the road of enlightenment would have 
checked,^ not to speak of downright plunder and 
theft. The more honour deserve men like Junghuhn 
among the dead and Roufifaer among the still 
living, who lifted their voice against the intolerable 
negligence which hastened the ruin of some of the 
finest existing specimens of Hindu and Buddhist 
architecture. At last, in 1901, an Archaeological 
Commission was appointed, whose labours were 
directed by Dr. J. L. A. Brandes, their head and 

' See, e.g., the edict, issued more than thirteen centuries ^o by the 
Emperor Majorian, as quoted by Gibbon : Antiquarum aedium dissipatur 
speciosa constructio ; et ut aliquid reparetur, magna diruuntur. Hinc iam 
occasio nascitur, etc. 


soul. After his regretted death in 1905, he was 
succeeded by Dr. N. J. Krom, who has no easy 
task in fanning the spark, struck by his predecessor 
from the hard flint of official laisser-aller into a 
steady, bright flame of real, continuous solicitude for 
the country's antiquities. 

Antiquities, except when sold, do not bring 
money to the exchequer, and the Dutch Govern- 
ment's most holy colonial traditions are diametrically 
opposed to expenses without promise of immediate 
pecuniary profit. If sympathies in matters alien to 
that prime purpose are miraculously aroused, such 
interest, revealing itself at the very best by fits and 
starts to serve ambitious schemes, soon flags and 
dies. Especially in Dutch East Indian enthusiasm 
for enterprises financially uncommendable, the adage 
holds good that tout lasse, tout casse, tout passe. 
The efforts of the Archaeological Commission can 
be traced only at the respectful distance of at least a 
couple of years, the drowsy dignity of red-tapeism 
putting as long a space as possible between the 
vulgar gaze of the unofficially curious and the 
official accounts of things accomplished, meetly 
compiled, arranged, amended, corrected, revised, 
purged, padded and bolstered up by the editing 
experts of successively the circumlocution offices at 
Batavia, Buitenzorg and the Hague. The reports, 
published in this manner, whatever they repre- 
sent as having been done, lay no stress, of course, 
upon what has been left undone, upon the archi- 
tectural marvels unprovided for, still suffered to 


crumble away, to be stripped and demolished, the 
valuable statuary and ornaments to be carried off 
piecemeal by unscrupulous collectors, the lower 
priced stones they left, sculptured or not, by the 
builders of private dwellings and factories, of 
Government bridges, dams and embankments. 

The illustrations, inserted to explain, imperfect 
though it bfe, the charm of the temple ruins I treated 
of, are reproductions of photographs, taken for 
the Dutch East Indian Archaeological Service, 
I obtained from Messrs. Charls and van Es at 
Weltevreden, by courtesy of Dr. N. J. Krom, and 
of photographs taken for the Centrum Company at 
Batavia, and by Mr. C. Nieuwenhuis and the late 
Cephas Sr. at Jogjakarta. The work of restoration 
can be appreciated from the photo-prints of the 
chandi Pawon and, with respect to the chandis 
Mendoot and Boro Budoor, from those facing pp. 
215 and 280 ; they are the numbers 24 and 40 on the 
list of the illustrations, and I owe them to Major T. 
van Erp, also through the intermediary of Dr. Krom. 
My indebtedness for the text so far as it does 
not rest on personal observation and information 
obtained in the localities referred to, is a very large 
one to many authors on many subjects separately 
specified in the notes. Concerning the historical 
parts, I beg leave to state that my readings on 
controversial points have been determined by a 
careful sifting of the most acceptable theories 
advanced, at the risk of critics of the stamp alluded 
to, proving my preferred records absolutely inad- 


missible. If so, I having pulled the long bow 
d rinstar of the annalists and chroniclers of ancient 
Java, and consequently being shown up for indicating 
the way in which things did not happen and could 
not have happened, instead of sticking to the 
historical truth agreed upon until one of the hall- 
marked omniscient makes a name for himself by 
inducing the others to agree upon some'thing else, 
my sin falls back on the shoulders of the savants 
prone to lead their admirers astray by their occa- 
sional imitation of the eminent historian at whose 
inborn disrespect for facts Professor Freeman used 
to poke fun. I am afraid that the system of 
transliteration I adopted, will also meet with scant 
recognition in the same quarter, but finding none 
that, strictly carried through, adjusts itself equally 
well to the exigencies both of Javanese and Malay 
names and expressions, I shall adhere to this one 
until taught better. 

This must suffice for a preface if, indeed, it does 
not exceed the measure allowed by my readers' 
patience. Knowing Java, they will, however, 
excuse my fervour in introducing reminiscences of 
beauty breathing scenes which, once enjoyed, linger 
like delights in memory 

the memory of a dream, 

Which now is sad because it hath been sweet. 

Not knowing Java yet, they will forgive later, 
when they have visited the matchless old shrines, 
images of her past and symbolic of her hopes for 


blessings hidden in the womb of time, when they 
have tried to read the riddle of her children's destiny 
in the Boro Budoor 

seated in an island strong. 

Abounding all with delices most rare. 

J. F. S. 





The Country, the People and their Work . . i 


West Java . . , . . -23 


The Dieng . . . . -40 


Prambanan . . . . • -69 

More of Central Java . . . ■ -99 


East Java . . ■ • ■ .140 


Buddhist Java . . ■ • ■ ^11 





The Approach to the Boro Budoor . . . 207 


The Stones of the Boro Budoor . . -233 


The Soul of the Boro Budoor . . . 266 


GLOSSARY ... . . 289 

INDEX . . . . • . . .295 



1. The Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.) . . . Frontispiece 

2. Chandi Pringapoos (Archaeological Service through Charls 

' and van Es) . . . . . .43 

3. Chandi Arjuno on the Dieng Plateau (Archaeological 

Service through Charls and van Es) . . -57 

4. Chandi Bimo or Wergodoro on the Dieng Plateau 

(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es) . 60 

5. East Front of the Siva (Loro Jonggrang) Temple of the 

Prambanan Group in 1895 (Cephas Sr.) . . 70 

6. Siva (Loro Jonggrang) Temple of the Prambanan Group 

in 1901 (Cephas Sr.). . . . , . 78 

7. Prambanan Reliefs (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . .81 

8. Prambanan Reliefs (Cephas Sr.) . . .84 

9. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum) . . . -87 

10. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum) . . . .90 

11. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum) . . . -93 

12. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum) . . . .96 

13. Water-Castle at Jogjakarta (Centrum) . . -131 

14. Water-Castle at Jogjakarta (Centrum) . . -135 

15. Chandi Papoh (Archaeological Service through Charls 

and van Es) . . . . . ■ i S i 

16. Chandi Singosari (Archaeological Service through Charls 

and van Es) . . . . . -157 

1 7. Chandi Toompang (Archaeological Service through Charls 

and van Es) . . . . . -159 

18. Chandi Panataran (Archaeological Service through Charls 

and van Es) ...... 164 




1 9. Chandi Kalasan (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . .181 

20. CAaWz Sari (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . . .185 

21. ^a^rjara of the C^flwrfz Sewu (Centrum) . . • IQI 

22. Detail of the Chandi Sewu (Archaeological Service 

through Charls and van Es) . . . -199 

23. Chandi Mendoot before its Restoration (Cephas Sr.) . 211 

24. Chandi Mendoot after its Restoration (Archaeological 

Service) . . . . . -215 

25. Interior of the C/%a«rfz Mendoot (Cephas Sr.) . . 223 

26. The Chandi Pawon and the Randu Alas (C. Nieuwenhuis) 229 

27. The Chandi Pawon divorced and restored (Centrum) . 230 

28. Base of the Boro Budoor showing the (filled up) lowest 

Gallery (C. Nieuwenhuis) .... 242 
29^ Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . 244 

30. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . 247 

31. Detail of the Boro Budoor (Centrum) . . 249 

32. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis) . .252 

33. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis) . . 254 

34. A Dhyani Buddha of the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.) . 256 

35. Reliefs of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis) . .259 

36. Ascending the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.) . .261 

37. Reaching the Circular Terraces of the Boro Budoor 

(Cephas Sr.) ...... 264 

38. Ascending to the Dagob of the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.) 270 

39. The Dagob of the Boro Budoor before its Restoration 

(C. Nieuwenhuis) ..... 276 

40. The Dagob of the Boro Budoor after its Restoration 

(Archaeological Service) . , . .280 



It is the crowning virtue of all great Art that, however little is left 
of it by the injuries of time, that little will be lovely. John Ruskin, 
Mornings in Florence {Santa Croce). 

Java's ancient monuments are eloquent evidence 
of that innate consciousness of something beyond 
earthly existence which moves men to propitiate 
the principle of life by sacrifice in temples as 
gloriously divine as mortal hand can raise. Fear, 
however, especially where Buddhism moulded their 
thought by contemplation intent upon absorption of 
self, entered little into the religion of the children of 
this pearl of islands. Nature, beautiful, almighty 
nature, guided them and their work ; even the 
terror inspired by the cosmic energy throbbing 
under their feet, by frequent volcanic upheavals 
dealing destruction and death, flowered into promise 
of new joy, thanks to the consummate art of their 
builders and sculptors, whose master minds, con- 
ceiving grandly, devising boldly and finishing with 


elaborate ornament, emphasised most cunningly the 
lofty yet lovely majesty of their natural surroundings. 
They made them images of the Supreme Being in 
his different aspects and symbolised attributes, free 
from the abject dread which dominated his worship 
by other earthlings of his fashioning in other climes, 
whose notion of All- Power was more one of Ven- 
geance than of All-Sufficiency. They lived and 
meditated and wrought, impressing their mentality 
upon the material world given for their use ; and 
so they created marvels of beauty, developed an 
architecture which belongs pre-eminently to their 
luxuriant soil under the clear blue of their sky, in 
the brilliant light of their sun. 

Truly high art ever shows a natural fitness, as 
we can observe in our gothic cathedrals, in the 
classic remains of Hellas, including those of Magna 
Graecia, the temples of Poseidonia, Egesta and 
Acragas, the theatres of Syracuse and Tauro- 
menium, gates opened to the splendour of heaven 
and earth by the undying virtue of mortal endeavour. 
Other countries, other revelations of the divine 
essence in human effort, but not even the shrines of 
India as I came to know them, born of a common 
origin with Javanese religious structures in almost 
similar conditions of climate, physical needs, moral 
aspirations, can equal their stately grandeur balanced 
by exquisite elegance, calm yet passionate, always 
in keeping with the dignified repose of landscapes 
which at any moment may have their charms dis- 
solved in earthquakes, fire and ashes. Angkor- 


Vat, turned from the service of four-faced Brahma 
to Buddhist self-negation, stands perhaps nearest in 
the happy effect produced, if not in outHne. And 
what is the secret of that quiet, subtle magic 
exercised by the builders of Java? Nothing but 
a matter of technical skill, of such a control over 
the practical details of their craft as, for instance, 
made them scorn metal bindings, while using mortar 
only to a very limited extent ? Or was it their 
faith, leavening design and execution, attaching the 
master's seal to general plan and minutest orna- 
mental scroll? In this connection it seems worthy " 
of remark that architect and sculptor, though 
independent in their labours (with the exception 
of one or two edifices of a late date), achieved 
invariably, in the distribution of surfaces and ' 
decoration, both as to front and side elevations, 
complete unity of expression of the fundamental 

Geographically, the ancient monuments of Java 
may be divided into three main groups : a western 
one, rather scanty and confined to a comparatively 
small area ; a central one, rich both in Sivaite and 
Buddhist temples of the highest excellence ; an 
eastern one, including Madura and Bali, illustrative 
of the island's Hindu art in its decadence. Taking 
it roughly, the order is also chronologically from 
West to East, and to a certain extent we can trace 
the history of the remarkable people who improved 
so nobly upon the ideas they received from India, 
in the ruins they left to our wondering gaze. There 


has been a good deal of controversy respecting the 
date up to which the inhabitants of Java developed 
themselves on lines of aboriginal thought before the 
advent of the Hindus or, more correctly speaking, 
before Hindu influences became prevalent. In fact, 
there is hardly any question regarding the history 
of the island and its civilisation before the white 
conquerors carried everything before them, which 
has not given rise to controversy, and many im- 
portant points are still very far from being settled — 
perhaps they never will be. In the face of such 
disagreement it behoves us to go warily and what 
follows hereafter rests but on arguments pro and 
contra deemed most plausible and founded princi- 
pally on the accounts of the babads or Javanese 
chronicles,^ always liable to correction when new 
discoveries with new wordy battles in their wake 
bring new light — if they do ! Rude attempts at 
rock carving near Karang Bolong, Sukabumi, and 
Chitapen, Cheribon, are ascribed by some to artists 
of the pre-Hindu period. Professor J. H. C. Kern's 
reading of inscriptions on four monoliths in Batavia, 
glorifications of a certain king Purnavarman, proves 
that the first Hindus of whom we have knowledge 
in Java, were Vaishnavas. Then comes a blank of 
several centuries while they made their way to 
Central and East Java where, however, when the 

> Strictly speaking, says Dr. Brandes in his notes to his translation of the 
Pararaton, or the Book of the Kings of Tumapel and Mojopahit (p. 178), 
there is only one babad tanah jawi, which received its final redaction about 
1700. The other babads, though they may contain recapitulations of the 
general history of Java, treat of local affairs or of certain selected periods, as 
the babads Surakarta, Diponegoro, Mangkunegoro, Paku Alaman, etc. 


veil is partly lifted, the Saivas predominate, almost 
swamping the rival sect. Fa Hien, the Chinese 
pilgrim who visited the island in 412 or 413, having 
suffered shipwreck on its coast, speaks of Brahmanism 
being in Jioribus 2in6. making converts, but complains 
of Buddhism as still of small account among the 

The strangers arrived in increasing numbers on 
the hospitable shores of the good and generous 
negri jawa, whose kindly reception of those 
adventurers is marvellously well represented on 
two of the sculptured slabs of the Boro Budoor, 
a tale of rescue from the dangers of the sea, a 
picture of the past and a prophetic vision of the 
welcome extended in later days also to Muham- 
madans and Christians — to be how repaid ! The 
Hindus acquitted their debt of gratitude by building 
and carving with an energy, to quote James Fergus- 
son, and to an extent nowhere surpassed in their 
native lands, dignifying their new home with im- 
perishable records of their art and civilisation. , . . 
The Venggi inscriptions of the Dieng and the Kadu 
leave no doubt that the oldest manifestations of 
Hinduism in Central and West Java were intimately 
related and that the first strong infusion of the 
imported creed must have operated until 850 Saka 
(a.d. 928). In 654 Saka (a.d. 732), according to an 
inscription found at Changgal, Kadu, the ruler of 
the land bore a Sanskrit name and sacrificed to 
Siva, erecting a linga} An inscription of 700 

1 Emblem of Siva's fructifying virility. 


Saka (a.d. 778), found at Kalasan, Jogjakarta, is 
Buddhistic and confirms the evidence of many 
other records carved in stone and copper, of the 
oldest Javanese literature, last but not least of the 
temple ruins, all concurring in this that the two 
religions flourished side by side, the adoration of 
the Brahman triad, led by Siva, acquiring a tinge 
of the beatitude derived from emancipation through 
annihilation of self ; Buddhism, in its younger maha- 
yana form, becoming strongly impregnated with 
Sivaism, to the point even of endowing the Adi- 
Buddha in his five more tangible personifications 
with spouses and sons. Between two currents of 
faith, each imbued with the male and female 
principle in a country where the problem of sex 
will not be hid, it depended often upon a trifle 
what kind of emblematic shape the sculptor was 
going to give to his block of stone, whether he 
would carve a linga or a yoni^ a Dhyani Buddha, 
a Bodhisatva, a Tara or one of her Hindu 

Subsequent waves of immigration, the Muham- 
madan invasion, the Christian conquests, did little 
to nourish the artistic flame ; on the contrary, they 
damped artistic ardour. Hereanent our historical 
data are somewhat more precise. The Islam takes 
its way to Sumatra in the wake of trade ; con- 
versions en masse seem to have first occurred in 
Pasei and Acheh, while merchants of Arabian and 

^ Emblem of the fecundity of Siva's sakti or female complement, Parvati or 
Uma, Doorga, Kali or whatever other name she goes by according to the 
nature of her manifestations. 


Persian nationality prepared its advent also in other 
regions of the north and later of the west coast, 
Marco Polo speaks of a Muhammadan principality 
in the North at the end of the thirteenth century ; 
Ibn Batutah of several more in 1 345 ; Acheh is 
fully islamised under Sooltan Ali Moghayat Shah, 
1507-1522; about the same time Menangkabau, 
ruled by maharajahs proud of their descent in the 
right line from Alexander the Great, Iskander 
Dzu'l Karnein, reaches its apogee as a formidable 
Moslim state and remains the stronghold of 
Malayan true believers until the fanaticism of the 
padris, stirred by the Wahabite movement, ends, in 
1837, in the submission of the last Prince of Pagar 
Rujoong to the Dutch Government, which annexes 
his already much diminished empire. About. 1400 
the Islam had been introduced into Java, Zabej, as 
the Arabs called it, probably via Malacca and 
Sumatra, more especially Palembang. The oldest 
effort recorded was that of a certain Haji Poorwa 
in Pajajaran, but it appears not to have met with 
great success. Gresik in East Java, a port of call 
frequented by many oriental skippers, offered a 
better field for the religious zeal of Arab sailing- 
masters, supercargoes and tradesmen, every one of 
them a missionary too. Maulana Malik Ibrahim 
secured the largest following and was succeeded 
in his apostolic work by Raden Paku, who settled 
at Giri, not far from Gresik, whence his title of Susu^ 
hunan Giri, and by Raden Rahmat, who married a 
daughter of Angka Wijaya,.King of Mojopahit, and 


founded a Muhammadan school at Ngampel, Sura- 
baya. Their teachings resulted soon in the conver- 
sion of the population of the northeast coast of the 
island, where Demak, Drajat, Tuban, Kalinjamat 
and a few smaller vassal states of Mojopahit made 
themselves independent under Moslim princes or 
walis, who at last combined for a holy war against 
Hindu supremacy. They wiped Mojopahit in her 
idolatrous wickedness from the face of the earth 
and the leadership went to Demak, from which 
Pajang derived its political ascendency to merge 
later in Mataram. While the Islam spread from 
Giri in East and Central Java, even to Mataram 
and, crossing the water, to Madura, by the exertions 
of saintly men who " knew the future," an Arab 
sheik, arriving at Cheribon, directly from foreign 
parts, at some time between 1445 and 1490, Noor 
ad-Din Ibrahim bin Maulana Israil, better known 
as Sunan Gunoong Jati, undertook the conversion 
of West Java. And of Cheribon in her relation to 
the Pasoondan may be repeated what a Javanese 
historian said of Demak, where the Evil One 
was outwitted by the building of a mesdjid, 
a Muhammadan house of prayer, the oldest 
in the island : two human virtues remained ; so 
many as embraced the true religion went after 

The two remaining virtues got hard pressed 
when Christian strangers came to explore and 
exploit : Portuguese, English and Dutch, the latter 
dominant up to this day. Viewed from the stand- 


point of the dominated, their god was a god of 
plunder; their emblem, to suit the symbolism of 
the Hindu Pantheon, was a maryam, a heavy piece 
of ordnance; their vahana, the animal representa- 
tive of their most characteristic qualities, was the 
tiger, machan still being synonymous with orang 
wolanda (Hollander) in confidential, figurative 
speech. How Skanda, the deity of war, incited 
and Kuwera, the corpulent bestower of riches, 
directed their warriors and negotiators after the 
appearance of Cornelis Houtman's ships in the Bay 
of Bantam, need not detain us. That story of the 
past, with a hint at the possible future, is told in the 
legend of the legitimately wedded but for the time 
cruelly separated maryams of which one, very 
appropriately, awaits the fulfilment of a prophecy at 
the capital of the intruders, and the other where 
they first put foot on land, both being objects of 
veneration and granters of desires, especially kind 
to barren women who come, in a spirit of humilia- 
tion, to pray for the blessing of motherhood. A 
visit to Batavia is not complete without a pilgrimage 
to the Pinang gate, once an approach to the East 
India Company's castle, now in its supernatural 
cleanness, with its hideously black funeral urns and 
statues of Mars and Mercury or whoever they may 
be, giving access to the old town, the first public 
monument which attracted the attention of young 
Verdant Green in the age of sailing vessels after he 
had paid his due to the customs at the boom. Not 
far from that Pinang gate, symbolic of a colonial 


system under which short weight flourished with 
forced labour and trade carried on at the edge of the 
sword, lies the man-cannon, Kiahi Satomo, whose 
pommel presents a hand, closed so as to make the 
gesture of contempt, la fica, which Vanni Fucci of 
Pistoja permitted himself when interrogated in the 
abode of despair by the poet, quern genuit parvi 
Florentia mater amoris, and which accounts for the 
peculiar forms sacrifice assumes at this altar. His 
favourite spouse, discovered floating on the sea near 
old Bantam, an extraordinary thing to do for such a 
big heavy ' piece of metal, was given a temporary 
home on the spot where finally she lay down to rest 
from her travels : a certain Haji Bool built her a 
bambu house after the eruption of Krakatoa in 
1883, her presence having saved Karang Antu from 
the fate of Anyer and Cheringin. Waiting for the 
great consummation, when her reunion with her lord 
at Batavia will announce the hour of the oppressors' 
defeat and their expulsion from Java, she is not less 
honoured than he. Dressed in a white cloth, which 
covers the circular inscription in Arabic characters 
on breech and cascabel, while the priming hole is 
decorated in square ornament, with five solid rings 
to facilitate conveyance if she prefers being carried 
to moving by her own exertion as of yore, anointed 
and salved with boreh^ the spouse, expecting the 
summons in the fragrance of incense and flowers, 

' Generic name for ointments and salves, used specifically for a preparation 
of turmeric and coco-nut oil, which is smeared over the body on gala occasions 
and applied to objects held in veneration. 


kananga and champaka, is often surrounded by fer- 
vent devotees, muttering their dzikr on their prayer- 
mats, grateful for bounty received or hopeful of future 
delivery from bondage. Husband and wife will 
meet and then a third cannon, far away in Central 
Java, in the aloon aloon ^ before the kraton ^ of the 
Susuhunan of Surakarta, inhabited by a ghost, dis- 
penser of dreams, the sapu jagad, will vindicate 
that name, " broom of the world ", by sweeping all 
infidels into the sea. Though the scofifing unbeliever 
counts this a dream of dreams, to the confiding 
children of the land it is a disclosure of things 
hidden in the womb of time, not the less true 
because Kiahi Satomo has an older mate, Niahi 
Satomi, the wife of his youth, the robed in red of 
the Susuhunan's artillery park, which glories in 
many maryams renowned in myth and history, 
among them another married couple, Koomba-rawa 
and Koomba-rawi, who shielded the ancient Sooltans 
of Pajang, being the official defenders of their 
palace. But Kiahi Satomo's heart is in Bantam, at 
Karang Antu, as Niahi Satomi has reason to sus- 
pect since she, the more legitimate and more 
advanced in age, cannot keep him at her side. It 
avails nothing that the Susuhunan's retainers chain 
the reluctant head of the family to the Bangsal 
Pangrawit, the imperial audience - chamber con- 
structed after a heavenly model in gold ; always 

^ An aloon aloon is an open square before the dwelling of a native chief ; 
the kratons or palaces with their dependencies of the semi-independent 
princes in Central Java have two aloon aloons, one to the north and one to the 
south, on which no grass is allowed to grow. 


and always he flies back to Batavia, anxious to be 
ready where the beloved bini muda (lit. young wife) 
has trysted him for sweet dalliance, from which 
victory will be born and release. 

While predictions of the kind may be laughed at, 
the native belief in them and the foundations on 
which that belief rests, are no laughable matter by 
any means. Stories of mythical beings like Kiahi 
Satomo and Niahi Satomi, transformed into pieces 
of ordnance connected with the legendary lore of 
Trunajaya on one side and Moslim fanaticism 
personified in the cannon of Karang Antu on the 
other, prove that the native mind is still strongly 
imbued with pre-Muhammadan and even pre-Hindu 
ideas and modes of thought. Its imagination is fed 
by the fortunes (and misfortunes !) of an island 
which may be compared in the heterogeneous factors 
of its culture with Sicily, where Greek colonists 
built their temples in the high places of aboriginal 
idolatry ; and the Saracens constructed their qubbehs 
overtopping the churches and cloisters into which the 
Christians had transformed the cellae and colonnades 
consecrated to Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Aphrodite, 
Pallas Athene, Artemis, the Dioscuri ; and the 
Normans added their arched doorways and massive 
masonry to perplex posterity entirely. In Java the 
Hindu element, with a strong Buddhist admixture, 
predominates ; it prevails wholly in ancient archi- 
tectural activity, not to speak of Soondanese and 
Javanese folklore and literature, while later Christian 
influence is negligible if not negative. Everywhere 


in the island we find under the Muhammadan coating 
the old conceptions of life from which the Loro 
Jonggrang group and the Boro Budoor sprang : 
scratch the orang slam and the Saiva or Buddhist 
will immediately appear. As the Padang Highlands, 
which preserve the traditions of Menangkabau, still 
ring with the fame of the Buddhist King Adit- 
yawarman, and scrupulously Moslim Palembang 
still cherishes the memory of Buddhist San-bo-tsai, 
while South Sumatra clings to Hindu customs and 
habits for all its submission to Islam, so Java 
reveres whatever has been handed down from her 
pantheistic tempo dahulu (time of yore), however 
attached to the law of the Prophet. Sivaism and 
Buddhism were deeply rooted in the island ; if the 
political power of its old creeds was broken in 1 767 
with the taking of Balambangan, Hinduism never- 
theless lingering among the Tenggerese and in Bali, 
their spirit goes on leavening the new doctrine 
and we meet with their symbolism at every turn. 
Not to mention Central Java, where especially 
in Surakarta and Jogjakarta their tenacious sway 
strikes the most casual observer, the great stair- 
case of the Muhammadan sanctum at Giri is 
adorned with a huge naga, the worshipful rain- 
cloud descending in the likeness of a serpent, 
despite the Qoranic injunction to abstain from the 
representation of animate creation. The pillars of 
reception-halls and audience-chambers in the houses 
of the high and mighty, East and West, bear a 
remarkable resemblance to the linga, witness, e.g., 


the kedaton^ built by the Sooltan Sepooh Mar- 
tawijaya of Cheribon, a Moslim prince who ought 
to have evinced the strongest repugnance to Siva's 
prime attribute. 

Under the circumstances we need not wonder 
that the Islam did so little to stimulate art in Java. 
Christianity did still less, rather clogged it in its 
application to native industries, which suffered from 
the country being flooded with stuff as cheap as 
possible in every respect, but sold at the highest 
possible prices to benefit manufacturers in Europe. 
This is not the place to expatiate on this subject 
nor to discuss present efforts (in which alas ! per- 
sonal ambitions play first fiddle and jeopardise 
results) to revive what lies at the point of death 
after centuries of culpable discouragement, the 
professional secrets and peculiar devices of native 
arts and crafts, requiring hereditary skill and the 
delicate touch of experienced fingers to attain former 
perfection, being now already half forgotten or alto- 
gether lost. Concerning the ancient monuments of 
Java, it is to the British Interregnum, to Sir Thomas 
Stamford Raffles that we owe the first measures for 
their preservation and the first systematic survey of 
specimens of Hindu workmanship as beautiful as 
any in the world, more in particular of the Pram- 
banan temples, and also of the Boro Budoor, by 
common consent the masterpiece of Buddhist archi- 
tecture. Marshalling his assistants in the archaeo- 

1 Kedaton has the same meaning as kraton, but is generally used for that 
part of a princely residence occupied by the owner himself with his wives, 
cpneubines and children, as distinct from the quarters of his retinue. 


logical field, especially Cornelius and Wardenaar 
(whose fruitful explorations and excavations deserved 
fuller acknowledgment than they received from him), 
a diligent student besides of the history and literature 
of the island, doing for Java in that respect what 
Marsden had done for Sumatra, he inspired Dr. 
Leyden, Colonel Mackenzie and his rival John 
Crawfiird among his contemporaries, and of younger 
generations now equally gone, Wilsen, Leemans, 
Brumund, Friederich, , Junghuhn, Cohen Stuart, 
Holle, — -/en passe et des meilleurs ! The value of 
their labours must be recognised and it is the fault 
of the Dutch Government's apathetic attitude that 
with such forces at its disposal, so little has been 
achieved. Each of them, with few exceptions, 
worked independently of the other and blazed his 
own personal path in the wilderness of Dutch East 
Indian antiquities. There was, as Fergusson com- 
plained, no system, no leading spirit to give unity 
to the whole. Disconnected, sometimes misdirected 
investigation did not result in more than an accumu- 
lation of fragmentary material for possible future 
use, rudis indigestaque moles. And meanwhile the 
glorious remains of a lost civilisation went more and 
more to ruin. They were drawn upon for purposes 
of public and private building ; statues and ornament 
disappeared, not only in consequence of the un- 
checked, persistent nibbling of the tooth of time, 
and it seemed almost so much gained if Doorga or 
Ganesa reappeared occasionally in the function of 
domestic goddess or god to some Resident or 


Assistant Resident who demonstrated his devotion 
to ancient art and care for the preservation of its 
masterpieces by a periodical process of whitewashing 
or tarring. Worse than that : dilettantism began to 
tamper with the finest temples and the miserable 
bungling of mischievous, quasi-scientific enthusiasts 
reached its climax in the sorry spectacle prepared 
for the visitors of the last international exhibition in 
Paris (1900). There was to be seen in the Dutch 
East Indian section, a mean, ridiculous imitation of 
one; of the Buddhist jewels of Central Java, a cari-^ 
cature of the chandi^ Sari, the exterior in nondescript 
confectioner's style, daubed dirty white, the interior 
made hideous by a purple awning, abomination 
heaped on abomination. And that piteous botch, 
in fact an unconscious avowal of Dutch colonial 
shortcomings, did service as a sample of la magni- 
ficence d'une religion prodigue en ornaments, en 
feuillages et en volupUs ! 

After an era of dabbling by pseudo-Winckel- 
manns and Schliemanns, spicing their pretences 
with mutual admiration, the Government decided 
finally to appoint a permanent Archaeological Com- 
mission. Things, indeed, had come to such a pass 
that there was danger in delay : the island is be- 
coming more and more accessible to globe-trotters 
of all nationalities, not a few of whom publish their 

^ Chandi means in its correct, restricted sense : "the stones between and 
under which in olden times the ashes of a burnt corpse were put," or " a 
mausoleum built over the ashes of one departed " (Roorda and Gericke) ; by 
extension, in native speech, any monument of the Hindu period. The chandi 
Sari is supposed to have been a vihara or Buddhist monastery. 


impressions, and if erring authority wields a vigor- 
ous Press Law to silence criticism at home, against 
foreign criticism it has no weapon of the kind, how- 
ever touchy it may be. So it began to move and 
the Archaeological Commission (short for Com- 
mission for Archaeological Research in Java and 
Madura), though without a single trained archaeolo- 
gist among its members, displayed at once a good 
deal of activity under its first President, Dr. J. L. A. 
Brandes, exploring in East Java, restoring the chandi 
Toompang, attending to the ' Mendoot and Boro 
Budoor in Central Java, in order that, acting upon 
King Pururava's injunction, at last understood and 
accepted, after a fashion, by Batavia and the Hague, 
no monument shall be lost which has been wrought 
in the right spirit. It can be imagined that sub- 
ordinate officials, eager to follow their superiors' 
lead, now revel daily in numberless finds, reported 
not only from districts, near and remote, in the star 
island, but from the exterior possessions, from 
Soombawa, from Jambi in Sumatra, from Kutei in 
East, from Sanggau and Sakadan in West Borneo, 
etc. etc. Like the encouraging of native art applied 
to weaving, wood-carving, the manufacture of pottery, 
of household utensils of copper and bronze, and so 
on, the ferreting out of sculptural and architectural 
ties with the past is quite the latest craze, a 
stepping-stone to preferment or at least a means of 
ingratiation with those who set the pace. There 
would be no harm in this if obsequious ambition did 
not burgeon here and there into an excess of zeal 



which makes one tremble, pregnant as it proves to 
be with dangers well defined by Ruskin : Of all 
destructive manias that of restoration is the fright- 
fullest and foolishest. 

Curiosity being excited, there is the impulse to 
satisfy vulgar demands, to cater to coarse appetites 
when admitting every one who knocks at the door 
of the treasure-house however unworthy. Trippers 
from the trading centres on the coast swarm round 
as their fancies guide ; tourists from distant climes 
scour the land, either single spies or driven in 
noisy battalions of "conducted parties ". Travel in 
Java is already assuming the character of holiday 
excursions pressed upon the public in bombastic 
handbills and posters of transportation companies. 
Revenue being the principal objective of Dutch 
colonial solicitude, the opportunity they create is 
gladly seized to levy gate-money from visitors to 
the chandi Mendoot.^ And since the Philistines, 
who do not appreciate the beauties of a building 
they cannot comprehend, expect something in ex- 
change for their contribution to the upkeep, visible 
tokens of their really having been there, we shall 
soon hear of photographers established in the 
temple to perpetuate the memory of spoony couples, 
giggling and offensive, magnesium flashed at the 
feet of the Most Venerable, or of the Boro Budoor 
in a blaze of Bengal fire to please mediocrity, which 
wants barbarous stimulants. And apart from such 

1 A tax of (ten pence), the payment of which secures also admission to 
the chandis Pawon and Boro Budoor. 


concessions to the exigencies of inane modern 
travel, how distressing the plain tokens of neglect 
and spoliation ! As Psyche began to mourn Love 
after she had come to grasp his excellence, so the 
discerning one, advancing to the apprehension of 
eternal truth there enshrined in beauty, a call to 
heaven in stone, laments less what is gone of 
material substance by the ravages of time, than 
what is taken from the spiritual essence by willful 
mutilation ; by methods of repair embodied in iron 
scrapers to remove moss and weeds, incidentally 
spoiling the delicate lines of reliefs and decoration ; 
by filling gaps with any rubbish lying about, mend- 
ing and patching a la grosse morbleu ; by additions 
for the convenience of sightseers, like the unsightly 
staircase askew near one of the original, dilapidated 
approaches. It is devoutly to be hoped that the 
overhauling now in progress will, at least, remove 
such incongruities and avoid new horrors of so- 
called restoration.^ 

Dr. Brandes, whose learning and good sense led 
the Archaeological Commission in a track of sound 
activity, died, unfortunately, in 1905. Though the 
theft of antiquities has been discontinued on paper, 
impudent souvenir hunting is still winked at by 
authorities fawning on distinguished guests. Un- 
titled and unofficial collectors will have some trouble 
perhaps, at any rate incur a good deal more expense 
than formerly, in filling their private art galleries, 

1 Thanks to Major T. van Erp of the Engineers, who conducted the work 
of restoration, this pious wish has been granted. 


but for officials of the type of Nicolaus Engelhard ^ 
no difficulties seem to exist and even the Boro 
Budoor was very recently despoiled to please a 
royal personage. So much for Java ; as to the 
exterior possessions, the Minahassa was plundered, 
even more recently, for the benefit of foreign ex- 
plorers of name and fame. Since the respective 
Government edicts ^ multiplied, fixing responsibility 
at random, cases of strange disappearance multiplied 
too, on the principle, it seems, of making hay while 
the sun shines ; the pen-driving departments, issu- 
ing circulars on everything, for everything, against 
everything, about everything, effect absolutely no- 
thing unless their insistence be taken, often rightly 
by him who reads between the lines, for a covert 
invitation to do precisely the contrary, considering 
friendships, family relations, party obligations, etc. etc., 
of powers and dominions. The force of regulations 
and rescripts in the Dutch East Indies is notoriously 
short-lived in the best of circumstances, and we 
have it on the authority of Hans Sachs, Je mehr 
Hiirien, je ubler Hut. The very scrupulous and 
wise, moreover, drag off whatever is loose or can 
be detached, separating details of ornament, reliefs 
and statues from their surroundings, which are 

' Governor of Java's northeast coast from 1801 to 1808, in whose garden 
at Satnarang " several very beautiful subjects in stone were arranged, brought 
in from different parts of the country." Raffles, History of Java, vol. ii., 

2 Paraphrases of a fossil statute, periodically paraded and then returned to 
its pigeon-hole, like a relic carried round in procession on the day of the parti- 
cular saint it belongs to and then shut away in its repository for the rest of the 
year. Of what avail are enactments and ordinances persistently ignored and 
never enforced ? 


indispensable to their proper understanding, to hide 
and forget them in cellars and lofts of museums 
until, the stars being favourable, accidentally re- 
discovered after years and years, and ticketed and 
huddled together with other ticketed objects in long, 
dreary rows of forbidding, bewildering aspect. That 
is, if they are rescued and classified and ticketed 
tant bien que mal: the colonial section in the Museum 
of Antiquities at Leyden, a byword among the lovers 
of Dutch East Indian architecture, shows clearly the 
obstruction caused by hopeless negligence in the 
past and lack of backbone in the present zeal, 
energy, ardour, nay, frenzy of investigation. Every- 
thing in Dutch colonial affairs goes by fits and starts 
with long blanks of indifference between. To give 
but one instance : the Corpus Inscriptionum Java- 
narum, planned with flourish of trumpets in 1843, 
still awaits the preliminaries of a beginning of ex- 
ecution. Concerning the fever of restoration which 
has broken out, one feels inclined, in support of 
Ruskin's opinion quoted above, to sound the note 
of warning engraved on the signet ring of Prosper 
Merimde, Inspector of the Historical Monuments of 
France almost a century ago : jjAfivaa-' airiarelv, lest 
the last state become worse than the first, and excess 
of zeal deface what time and the hand of man, even 
the Department of Public Works itself, quarrying 
its material for bridges, dams, embankments and 
the shapeless Government buildings of which it 
possesses the monopoly, have left standing. With- 
out, however, insisting on the dark aspect of the 


situation, let us trust that a sense of shame, if not 
of duty, will sustain the interest in the old monu- 
ments of Java now in vogue, and may then the 
faddish, pompous display, turned into channels of 
quiet, responsible, persistent endeavour, herald a 
brighter day ! 



Quedaron mudos los cuerpos, 
Solas las almas se hablan, 
Que en las luces de los ojos 
Iban y venian las almas.' 

Romancero Morisco (Celin de Escariche). 

The Batu Tulis, lit. "the inscribed stone", near 
Bogor, commemorates the feats of a certain prince, 
Parabu Raja Purana, otherwise Ratu Dewata, and 
calls him the founder of Pakuan, ruler, maharajah 
ratu aji, of Pakuan Pajajaran. That kingdom is 
the centre of everything tradition has transmitted 
regarding the Hindus in West Java. Its origin, 
according to native belief, goes back to a settlement 
of princely adventurers from Tumapel in East Java, 
and when Mojopahit flourished after the fall of that 
mighty empire, it rose to equal eminence at the 
other end of the island, only to be destroyed by the 
same agency, the growing power of Islam. The 

1 The bodies remained silent, 
Only the souls did commune, 
For in the light of the eyes 
Came and departed the souls. 



subjection of the mountain tribes of the Priangan 
by the settlers from the East proceeded in the 
beginning but slowly and the children of the land, 
even after they had yielded to the inevitable, must 
have retained a share in the management of their 
affairs, for Soondanese panioons'^ mention separately, 
as two factors of government, the raiu, king of 
Pakuan, and the menak, nobility of Pajajaran. 
However this may be, from about iioo until the 
beginning of the sixteenth century, Pajajaran was a 
political unity that counted. She could send an 
army of a hundred thousand warriors into the field. 
Her kings disposed at will of large territories, 
gained by conquest ; one of them conferred upon 
his brother Kalayalang the dominion of Jayakarta, 
in later years better known under the name of 
Yacatra, and on his brother Barudin the dominion 
of Bantam, principalities destined to play an 
important part in the overthrow of the sovereign 
state. Nothing, save the meagre accounts of the 
babads and the scanty remains to be referred to at 
the end of this chapter, reminds now of Pajajaran, 
except the Badooy in South Bantam, who constitute 

' The oldest, perhaps the only original form of native poetry, happily com- 
pared, by Professor R. Brandstetter, with the Italian stornelH. In contra- 
distinction to the sha'ir, the charm of the pantoon lies, or should lie, in its being 
improvised. It consists of four lines, of vfhich the third rimes with the first 
and the fourth with the second ; the first two contain some statement generally 
but loosely connected with the meaning of the last couplet, except, to quote 
Dr. J. J. DE Hollander, that they determine the correspondence of sound. 
Here is one in translation : 

Whence come the leeches ? 

From the watered ricefield they go straight to the river. 

Whence comes love ? 

From the eyes it goes straight to the heart. 


a community apart, entirely isolated from the rest 
of the population and whose peculiar customs and 
religious observances so far as known, make it 
probable that they are the descendants of fugitives 
before the Muhammadan inroad. 

When Noor ad-Din Ibrahim bin Maulana Israil 
had established in Cheribon not only his religion 
but also his political power, he began, under the 
name and title of Sunan Gunoong Jati, to propagate 
the faith by force of arms in the whole of West 
Java. First he cast his eyes on Bantam, then a 
mighty realm, the possession or at least the control 
of which, leaving spiritual motives alone, would 
materially benefit Moslim trade by securing a free 
passage through the Straits of Soonda whenever 
trouble with the Portuguese made the Straits of 
Malacca unsafe. The Sivaite Prince of Bantam, 
trying to preserve his independence by fostering the 
commercial rivalry between his Muhammadan and 
Christian friends, received the latter with open arms 
and besought their assistance against Cheribon 
and Demak, but Maulana Hasan ad-Din, a son of 
Sunan Gunoong Jati, defeated him none the less 
and introduced the Islam among his people both in 
Bantam proper and in the Lam pongs. Another son 
of Sunan Gunoong Jati founded the Muhammadan 
principality of Soonda Kalapa, notwithstanding the 
fortifications erected there by the Portuguese, at the 
instance of their Bantamese ally, to stem the tide 
of Muhammadan conquest. After subjugating the 
vassal state, Maulana Hasan ad- Din attacked, about 


1526, the troops of Pajajaran under the King's son 
Sili Wangi, and routed them, taking the capital and 
proselytising by the sword wherever he went, 
following the example set by Raden Patah of Demak 
in East Java. It is probable that Bantam, once 
islamised and consequently turning against the 
Portuguese, took the side of Cheribon in these wars. 
At any rate, we find Bantam and Cheribon together 
acknowledging the suzerainty of Demak, like the 
more eastern principalities of the north coast, and 
when that central Muhammadan state of Java lost 
the hegemony in consequence of its breaking up 
after the death of Pangeran Tranggana, and at last 
the Sooltan of Pajang,^ into which it dissolved, had 
to humble himself with his allies, the Adipati of 
Surabaya and the Sunan of Giri, before the Senapati 
of Mataram, his former regent in that territory, this 
valiant and clever potentate claimed the lordship 
over the island. These were the beginnings of a 
glorious new Mataram, perhaps identical with 
Mendang Kamulan. 

Cheribon, which had conquered Bantam and 
Pajajaran, lost gradually her strength, became 
tributary to Mataram in 1625 and wholly dependent 
in 1632. She declined still more after the death of 
Panambahan Girilaya, who divided his succession 
between his sons Pangeran Martawijaya (later 
Sooltan Sepooh) and Pangeran Kartawijaya (later 
Sooltan Anom), on condition of their providing for 

1 The title of Sooltan was assumed, probably for the first time in the history 
of Java, by the ruler of Pajang when, in 1568, he added Jipang to his domains. 


a third son, Pangeran Wangsakarta of Godong 
(later Panambahan). Embroiled in the rebellion of 
Trunajaya against the authority of Mataram and cap- 
tured, Martawijaya and Kartawijaya were kept as 
hostages at its capital, Karta. Released through the 
intervention of Sooltan Tirtayasa of Bantam, more 
commonly known as Abu'l-Fatah, they returned 
home only to get again mixed up in hostilities 
against Mataram and the Dutch East India 
Company, which overran Cheribon with its soldiers 
and improved the opportunity by regulating the 
affairs of Girilaya's three sons to its own best 
advantage. The foundation of Batavia on the site 
of old Yacatra, taken by Jan Pietersz Coen, May 
30, i6ig, had meant, among other things, an always 
keener competition in trade with Bantam or, rather, 
the "establishment of a free rendezvous", i.e. free 
of bickerings with native princes and princelings, 
for the fleets of the Company on their long voyage 
to the Moluccos. Bantam having outstripped 
Cheribon by the importance she derived from 
English and Dutch shipping, resented the blow 
which threatened to relegate her to a second or third 
place, and this resulted in frequent conflicts with the 
intruders, though the boundary line of their settle- 
ment and their mutual relationship had been carefully 
defined in the treaty of 1659. On the other side in 
occasional difficulties with Mataram, the Company, 
acting on the divide et impera principle, encouraged 
the rivalry between the middle and western empires, 
which both strove for supremacy in the Priangan. 


How the Company accomplished its purpose and 
triumphed, needs here no detailed examination. Its 
objects and the considerations which moved it, are 
wittily discussed in a Javanese mock-epic, the Serat 
Baron Sakendher, a satire on the rise of Dutch 
power at Batavia, the foundation of Moor Yang 
Koong (Jan Pietersz Coen). If that pattern of 
regents outre mer, the first Dutch Governor-General 
in Java, whose motto was "never despair", whose 
grip like the grip of the tiger, has invited com- 
parison with Ganesa (firstborn of Siva and Parvati) 
for wisdom and cautious statecraft, with Skanda 
(also sprung from the Mahadeva's loins but without 
the Devi's collaboration) for resolution and mettle, 
here we find him as the son of Baron Sookmool, 
Baron Sakendher's brother, and Tanaruga,^ daughter 
of the Pajajaranese Princess Retna Sakar Mandhapa, 
and the poet makes the personification of the 
Company say to his twelve hopefuls, the earliest 
Tuan Tuan Edeleer, or honourable members of the 
Governor-General's Council : Good measures you 
will enforce, without quarrelling amongst yourselves, 
and, even if it were larceny, the moment you have 
decided upon it by common consent, I give my 
permission, — a speech delightfully in keeping with 
the tactics of his father, whose artillery prevailed, 

• This lady was a prisoner of the Pangeran of Jakarta (Yacatra) from whom 
Baron Sookmool, charmed by her beauty when he arrived in Java to trade for 
his father, the wealthy merchant Kawit Paru, bought her for three big guns, 
whose history, in the legendary lore of the island, is inextricably mixed up with 
the mariage d. trois of Kiahi Satomo (for the nonce taking domicile at Cheribon), 
Niahi Satomi and the maryam of Karang Antu referred to in the preceding 


not with iron cannon-balls, but with golden grape- 
shot of ducats and doubloons. 

The ruins of the Fort Speelwijck and the minaret 
of Pangeran Muhammad's mesdjid at Old Bantam 
are very illustrative of the insinuating way in which 
the pioneers of the Company planted their factories ; 
once admitted on the strength of their promises, 
they gained a firm footing by military superiority, 
driving hard bargains and ousting the Islam from 
what it had come to regard as its own. Near by is 
the neglected, overgrown Dutch cemetery, where 
many of those pioneers were laid to rest, far from 
home, family and friends, killed in the Company's 
battles or by strenuous obedience to exacting orders, 
bartering their health in a murderous climate for a 
handful of silver, wasting body and soul to swell 
the Company's dividends. A tangle of weeds and 
briars closes over their remains ; thick moss, cover- 
ing their broken gravestones, effaces their forgotten 
names ; even the mausoleums dedicated to the 
memory of the leaders among them, commanders 
and commercial agents-in-chief, are crumbling away, 
harbouring hungry guests which leave safe lairs in 
the forests, when deer and wild pigs become scarce, 
to raid at night the village sheepfolds, while snakes 
may dart forth from the cracks and fissures at any 
moment and mosquitoes swarm round in myriads, 
the worst plague of all to him who seeks communion 
with the dead in that jungle. The burial-ground 
of the Sooltans of Bantam, gathered round Hasan 
ad-Din, the first preacher of the true faith in this 


region, is in better condition. Though Shafei, to 
whose madsheb or school the Moslemin of the Dutch 
East Indies belong, disapproved of elaborate tombs 
and prescribed that sepulchral cavities, after the 
deposition of the bodies, should be filled up and 
made level with the ground, memorial tokens to 
mark the graves of Muhammadan saints, famous 
princes and heroes, often venerated as kramats, are 
a familiar sight in Java ; they consist generally of 
pieces of wood or stone, tengger, standing upright 
at both ends, at the head and at the feet, differently 
shaped for men and for women. Many such are 
found where Pangeran Muhammad raised his mesdjid 
with the minaret detached like the campanile of 
some mediaeval Italian church. Tombs all round, 
tombs of Sooltans, their brothers and sons and 
cousins, their great councillors and generals, a 
Bantamese Aliscamps with Hasan ad- Din occupying 
the place of honour under a canopy, prayer-mats and 
prayer-books lying around, a benign breeze stirring 
the muslin hangings and filling the air with the 
fragrance of the kambojas} Whoever wants to 
know of the excellent deeds of the Sooltans of 
Bantam, their acts of devotion in peace and their 
prowess in war, can receive information from 
Pangeran Muhammad Ali in kampong Kanari, one 
of their descendants, keeper of the archives of the 
mesdjid and the surrounding garden of the departed. 
He will tell furthermore of the well near the north 

^ Plumeria acutifolia Pair., fam. Apocynaceae, planted extensively in 
cemeteries ; its flowers, for this reason called boonga kuboor (grave-flowers), have 
a very pleasant odour and are used to scent clothes, etc. 


wall of the new building, which is fed from the well 
Zemzem at Mecca and, thanks to the child Ishmail, 
beneath whose feet its water bubbled forth, possesses 
the property of curing disease. It is also connected 
with the miraculous source at Luar Batang, whose 
water possesses the property of detecting perverters 
of the truth : the man who tries there to slake his 
thirst with a falsehood on his conscience, from a 
downright lie to a terminological inexactitude, or 
even a little fib for the sake of domestic tranquillity, 
will not be able to swallow a drop, his throat refusing 
liquid comfort until expiation of guilt ; and so the 
devotees who flock to the shrine of the saint of 
Hadramaut at Pasar Ikan, Batavia, leave that source 
prudently alone — one may have sinned unwittingly 
or under strong provocation. Such holy places are 
thickly strewn and the last habitation of Hasan 
ad-Din is one of the holiest, being overshadowed by 
the venerable minaret of Pangeran Muhammad's 
mesdjid, which signified to Bantam what the mesdjid 
of Ngampel did to the eastern and the mesdjid of 
Demak to the middle states of Moslim Java. The 
intact preservation of the latter as the oldest existing 
edifice erected^ for Muhammadan worship in the 
island, is of high importance superstitionis causa, 
and exceeding care was taken in 1845, when the 
danger of its tumbling down became imminent, 
to rebuild it not all at once, but one part after 
the other, round the four principal supports of the 
original structure, and to restore the beautifully 

1 About 1468, by Raden Patah. 


carved lintels and posts exactly to their accustomed 
position. Nothing is left at Demak of Raden 
Patah's princely dwelling, but the graves are shown 
of Panambahan Jimboon, Pangeran Sabrang Lor 
and Pangeran Tranggana, who was killed by one 
of his servants on an expedition to still Sivaitic 

Pangeran Tranggana had auxiliaries from Bantam 
among his troops and this leads us back to West 
Java after our slight digression in favour of Demak, 
the energetic central state which, at the time here 
spoken of, ruled the roast in matters of conquest 
for the propagation of the faith. The Bantamese, 
more than their converters, have conserved a repu- 
tation for fanaticism and it is not yet a quarter of a 
century since a certain Abool Karim of the district 
Tanara preached the holy war, the brotherhood of 
the Naqshibendyah fanning the flame of sedition he 
kindled. His murids (disciples) Tubagoos Ismail, 
Marduki and Wasid having spread the movement, 
a mob, led by a certain Haji Iskak, massacred 
several Europeans at Chilegon (1888). But for the 
Government's bayonets, rather than a course of 
conciliation based on a thorough knowledge of the 
agrarian causes at the bottom of the unrest among 
the population, the whole of Bantam might have 
blazed up and Cheribon might have followed. 
Seeing that they could not prevail, the dissatisfied 
betook themselves again to prayer, there at the 
grave of Hasan ad-Din, here at the grave of Sheik 
Noor ad-Din Ibrahim, situated not far from the 


capital he founded, on a hill near the sea, the 
Gunoong Jati, whence his title. The terraces of 
the astana so called, first home of the Islam in this 
region, much venerated however much defaced, 
savour of more ancient heathen monuments in all 
their odour of Muhammadan sacredness, not other- 
wise than the Kitab Papakam, the Cheribon code of 
laws, savours of Indian maxims and even at this 
date betrays its birth from the legislation introduced 
by the Hindu immigrants, though in 1768 (and not 
before that year, more than three centuries after 
the introduction of the law of the Prophet !), the 
Kutara Manawa has officially been abrogated in 
the Sooltanate. The lowest three terraces of the 
astana serve as a burial-ground for the descendants 
of Sunan Gunoong Jati and the men of mark in the 
annals of his empire ; a road, winding upward, a 
Moslim Via delle Tombe, conducts the pilgrim to a 
mesdjid on the fourth, not to be desecrated by the 
feet of unbelievers ; ^ above the mesdjid, on the 
fifth, the sanctum sanctorum., rest the mortal re- 
mains of the saint himself. Speaking of Cheribon 
in its relations to Hinduism and the Islam, a refer- 
ence to Chinese influences on Javanese architecture 
cannot be omitted. They are most evident,' of 
course, where the sons of the Flowery Empire 
have settled earliest and in greatest numbers. In 
several localities Chinese temples are found for the 
building and decorating of which renowned archi- 

' It is told that the intrepid Governor-General Daendels once tried to invade 
the sanctity of this house of prayer, but even he had hastily to retire. 



tects, wood-carvers and painters have expressly- 
been summoned to Java at great expense. Re- 
putedly the finest is the klenteng, situated at a 
stone's throw from the shed wherein Sunan 
Gunoong Jati's grobak is kept, the vehicle in 
which he descended from heaven to proclaim the 
Wofd. Transplanting their curved roof-trees and 
gaudy ornament, the Chinese brought also a taste 
for grotto-work, once notably conspicuous in the 
kraton of Sooltan Anom. On the road to Tagal, 
near the dessa (village) Sunyaragi, lies a rocky 
labyrinth belonging to the pleasure-grounds of 
Sooltan Sepooh's famous country-seat. Among 
other clever devices it contains an artificial cave so 
constructed that the kanjeng goosti, retiring thither 
on a hot afternoon for dalliance with his favourite of 
the hour, might shut himself completely off from 
the world by a discreet artificial waterfall, securing 
privacy behind its liquid screen and a refreshing 
atmosphere stimulative to amorous exercise. The 
Chinaman who elaborated the idea, had his eyes 
gouged out to prevent his creating another such 
wonder of architecture adapted to the diversions of 
oriental potentates. 

It seems fitting that in Java, the sweet island 
whose air is balm and where always the delicious 
sound of running water is heard, where the cult of 
bathing is perfected by inclination as well as neces- 
sity of climate, some of the oldest signs of civilisa- 
tion are found in sheltered nooks and corners still 
frequented by those who appreciate an invigorating 


plunge. Kota Batu, near Bogor, the supposed site 
of the capital of Pajajaran, is an instance in point. 
Destroyed, says the Soondanese tradition, because 
the illustrious King Noro Pati had lifted up his 
heart to boast against the message of the Prophet, 
his sons completed the calamity by their wrangling 
for the lordship over outlying, as yet unsubjugated 
and unconverted dependencies, and righteousness 
left the country. The same reasons which made 
Pajajaran slow to accept the Islam, had hindered 
her acceptance of Hinduism. The mountainous 
Priangan was sparsely populated and, even if we 
accept the statements of native historians who give 
Hindu civilisation in West Java a long life by dating 
the colonisation from India back to the first century 
of the Christian era,^ confined to a limited area, as 
the antiquities discovered make clear, it remained 
far behind that which reared the superb temples of 
Central Java. To the best of our knowledge there 
were never any Hindu temples at all in West Java, 
where the people seem to have contented them- 
selves with prayer and sacrifice in the open. While 
Central Java attained to the loftiest and noblest in 
art, West Java vegetated until improved communica- 
tion, stimulated by war and trade, brought about a 
dissemination of more eastern artistic notions, dis- 
cernible in raised levels and terraces as those of 
Gunoong Jati, which remind one faintly of the 
Boro Budoor; in earthen walls as those on the 

^ Venggi inscriptions, brought to light in West Java, go back to the sixth 
and fifth centuries of the Christian era and name Kalinga in India as the 
region from which the Hindu colonists emigrated. 


Bukit Tronggool, which are arranged after a plan 
somewhat like that of the squares enclosing the 
principal temple and the surrounding smaller ones 
of the chandi Sewu. Even then Polynesian clumsi- 
ness was not shaken off. At Batu Tulis, a kam- 
pong in the outskirts of Bogor, where the hosts of 
two religions fought the battle which decided the 
fate of Pajajaran, are several ungainly images and 
impressions of the feet of Poorwakali, the spouse of 
one of that realm's petrified kings, who mourned 
him with such copious tears that she softened the 
very rock she stood upon, according to one legend ; 
and, according to another legend, of the feet of a 
certain Raja Mantri who tarried so long in con- 
templation of the inscribed stone already mentioned, 
pondering over the meaning of its strange char- 
acters, that he sank gradually into the hard ground. 
There are more impressions of more feet and a 
coarsely carved linga, Siva's fecundating attribute, 
transformed by Muhammadan piety into the miracle 
working staff of a Moslim santon. Hardly greater 
interest is awakened by the primitive statues Kota 
Batu derives its appellation from, "city of stones", 
which form a sort of Ruhmes Allee, lining the path 
from the main road to the bath-house, with many of 
the same pattern scattered to right and left. All of 
them are petrified worthies of Pajajaran, which their 
own mothers would not recognise, though the natives 
know each of them by praenomen, nomen, cog- 
nomen and title. King Moonding Wangi, i.e. the 
nice-smelling buffalo, looking perhaps a trifle more 


human than the rest. Of a similar nature are the 
archadomas, a collection of about eight hundred 
blocks of stone on the estate Pondok Gedeh, which 
need a vivid imagination in the beholder to pass for 
the figures of men and animals. A good specimen 
of the Pajajaran type of sculpture, if it deserves that 
name, is the lachrymose Poorwakali already referred 
to as standing, petrified herself, at a little distance 
from the Batu Tulis where she solaces her widow- 
hood by keeping company with Kidangpenanjong, 
forgetting her royal husband, after her paroxysm of 
grief, in a plebeian flirtation. Such is woman ! 

From these crude attempts at a representation 
of animate creation, sprang nevertheless an art 
which, in the hands of the master-builders and 
sculptors of Central Java, who sought the beauty 
of truth that is verily without a rival, flowered out 
in prayers of stone, visible tokens of their yearning 
for heavenly reward, born of communion with the 
divine in deep reflection, only to descend again to 
lower planes, to the seeking of the praise of man, in 
the decadent conventionality of the later eastern 
Hindu empires. The story of the development of 
architecture and sculpture in the island from the 
immaturity identified with Pajajaran to the luxurious 
grandeur of the temples of Prambanan, the Mendoot 
and the Boro Budoor, hides a riddle no less strange 
than that of the bursting forth of Arabic poetry, full- 
blown in all its subtleness of thought, exuberance of 
imagination, perfection of language. The story of 
decline is written in the evolution of decorative 


design : the significance of motives based on the 
observation of the earth and her precious gifts, 
evaporates gradually in nicely waving lines, elaborate 
scrolls, insipid fineries. The ka/a-head changes 
into the roots of a tree, figurative of the forest ; the 
trunk of Ganapati into its bole ; at last the tree, 
roots, trunk, branches, foliage and all, with the sun 
rising over the forest, with mountains touching the 
sky, with rivers flowing to the sea, into conventional 
ornament. Islamic ideals were not conducive to 
a revival of artistic conceptions fading into nothing- 
ness ; neither was, to repeat that too, the painful 
contact with Christian civilisation. When the 
natives were made to toil and moil for alien masters, 
their virtues and energies blighted into the defects 
and failings of apathy. How could it be otherwise 
where an inefficient, venal police and a slow, de- 
fective administration of justice did (and does) not 
protect property against depredation ; where exertion 
beyond what is strictly necessary for bare subsist- 
ence, meant (and means) not prosperity but increased 
taxation. With all its pretensions to superiority 
and display of ethical sentiment, the Dutch Govern- 
ment can scarcely be said to differ much from Baron 
Sookmool, the personified East India Company 
of more than three centuries ago. Holland's wards 
in her rich colonies may be moulded into men, 
angels or devils, like the Triloka, the triple people 
of the Hindus, according to the treatment meted 
out to them and the education they receive. As far 
as Java is concerned, hoping in heaven's mercy. 


they live in their old traditions, the light of the 
past and the shadow of the present. What will 
the future bring in advance of the day on which 
mankind shall be scattered abroad like moths ? 
There is no knowledge of it but with God and the 
secret lies behind the Banaspati,^ in the hand of 
him of the budding lotus-flower, the Deliverer from 

' Banaspati or Wanaspati is the conventional lion's (or tiger's) head, a 
frequent motive in the ornament of Javanese temples, especially of common 
use over their porches and gateways. 



Where Silence undisturbed might watch alone, 
So cold, so bright, so still. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab. 

Where five residencies — Samarang, Pekalongan, 
Banyumas, the Bagelen and the Kadu — meet 
between two seas, the wonderland of the Dieng 
links the eastern and western chain of volcanoes 
which are the vertebrae of Java's spine. The 
Dieng plateau, the first part created, as tradition 
goes, and destined to remain longest above water 
in the island's final destruction and submersion, is 
nothing but a huge crater. Nature, in her most 
mysterious mood, exercises here a charm of a 
peculiar character, well expressed by the name, 
according to the Javanese derivation from adi a'eng, 
i.e. marvellously beautiful.^ The temples in this 
region belong to the oldest and finest if by no 
means the largest of Java, The discovery of a 

1 Dr. A. B. Cohen Stuart, however, derives Dieng from dihyang, 
the name found by him in old records. 



stone with a Venggi inscription has led to the 
conjecture that the Hindu settlement to which we 
owe them, originated from the Priangan ; other 
indications point to immigration directly from 
Southern India. However this may be, the dates 
ascertained (one in an inscription reproduced by 
me in 1885 for further examination at Batavia, 
leaving the stone in the place where I had found it) 
from 731 Saka (a.d. 809) on, witness to the lost 
civilisation of the Dieng having reached its apogee 
at the time the Abbassides flourished in Baghdad 
and the Omayyads in Cordova. How it rose, 
declined and fell, we do not know. For four cen- 
turies its memory lived only as a fantastic tale, the 
Dieng remaining utterly deserted, a wilderness of 
mountain and forest, inhabited by devils and demons 
of the Khara and Dushana type. 

Resettled since about 1800, its villages increase 
in number and size, and its wild animals, big and 
small, disappear gradually, though the tigers are 
still troublesome, evincing a growing disposition to 
vary their accustomed fare with domestic kine and 
sheep. The sombre woods are gone and efforts at 
reafforestation gave so far no perceptible results. 
The ground yields abundant crops of cabbage, 
onions and tobacco, in which a lively trade is done 
with Chinese middlemen, who buy for the merchants 
at Pekalongan, whence the product is shipped to 
larger centres of trade. These middlemen congre- 
gate principally at Batoor, a prosperous village, where 
travellers to the Dieng, arriving from that side, will 


appreciate the hospitable disposition of the wedono, 
the native chief of the district. Many a one has 
been entertained under his roof, looked down upon 
from the palupooh (split bambu) walls by the Royal 
Family of Great Britain and Kaiser Wilhelm in 
chromolithographic splendour, while discussing a 
substantial lunch or arranging for sleeping accom- 
modation if too tired to push on, or desirous of 
visiting the Pakaraman, the valley of death, at break 
of day when the uncanny manifestations of that 
place of horror are strongest. Another source of 
income for some of the Chinamen of Batoor and 
their henchmen of the Dieng is opium smuggling. 
The geographical position, commanding access to 
five administrative divisions of the island at once, 
lends itself admirably to that lucrative business. 
And if the smugglers cater to a low vice, they can 
advance an excuse logically unanswerable by those 
in authority who punish them when caught : they 
satisfy but a demand, in competition with the 
Government that created it, introduced the drug 
and encourages its use, artificially whetting a 
depraved appetite and demoralising the children 
of the land for the sake of more revenue. 

Often though I went up to forget the cares of 
exacting duties in happy holidays on the Dieng, 
trying the different approaches, the impressions of 
my first ascent in October 1885 are freshest in my 
memory. Starting from Wonosobo, I preferred 
to a more direct route the roundabout way via 
Temanggoong, spending a day on the road between 


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.) 

■" THE DIENG 43 

the twin volcanoes Soombing and Sindoro, enjoying 
the views to right and left, every new turn disclosing 
new wonders : mountain slopes basking in the 
warmth which radiated triumphantly from a sky of 
dazzling brightness, valleys of perfect loveliness 
losing their brilliant hues in the shades of evening 
as if a curtain fell between the world left and the 
world entered. The following morning early I rode 
from Temanggoong in a thick mist which, rolling 
away before the sun, uncovered a landscape more 
and more rugged as I passed Parakan and Ngadi- 
rejo, but always more charming, a feast to the eye. 
Near Ngadirejo the chandis Perot and Pringapoos 
claimed my attention. Built for the worship of 
Siva, his sakti Doorga and their eldest son, they 
offered a sad spectacle of decay, the former crumb- 
ling away in the baneful embrace of a gigantic 
tamarind, one of whose branches rose from the midst 
of the ruin straight up to heaven, overshadowing 
Ganesa, the conqueror of obstacles, in his medita- 
tions ; the latter holding an image of Siva's vahana 
or nandi, the bull, symbol of his creative power, 
still an object of veneration as the boreh indicated, 
the walls of the temple being decorated with splendid 
bas-reliefs representing a scene from Javanese 
history or mythology, analogous to the rape of the 
Sabine women.^ Farther on, surprise succeeding 

^ The remains of both these exquisite little temples suffered severely from 
a gale in 1907, which blew some of the surrounding trees down, their trunks 
and branches falling heavily and disjoining the still tolerably erect walls, the 
chandi Perot, according to latest intelligence, being wholly destroyed by the 
toppling of the tamarind it supported. 


surprise, lies Joomprit, another delicious spot, 
sanctified by a holy grave, at the source of the 
Progo. The water, gushing forth from the mouth 
of a cavern and trickling down its sides, is immedi- 
ately lost to sight in a declivity among the ferns. 
Curious monkeys herd round, led by their brawny 
chief, imperious like Hanoman, born from the wind, 
swinging through space, commanding the simian 
army of Sugriva : they constitute one of the few 
colonies of sacred apes which form a living link 
with the Hindu epoch ; that of Gaja Moongkoor 
on the Dieng has ceased to exist. 

From Joomprit on, it was pretty steep climbing 
to a point where, at a sudden turn, I beheld the 
lowlands, far beneath the clouds gathering round 
me, fair plains resting under their hazy veil of mid- 
day repose, calm and undisturbed. Drinking deep 
of the invigorating mountain air, I noticed the red 
cheeks of the women and girls who returned from 
market in little groups. After descending to the 
tea-plantations of Tambi, the clambering up began 
again, pretty hard for my pony, to which I gave an 
occasional rest, looking back over hills and valleys 
as they dissolved in soft-melting tints, impressing 
the beholder with a sense of eternal light in limitless 
space. Wonder akin to awe seized me when, 
panorama-like, a landscape of silent grandeur, quite 
different from the graceful majesty of the rose- 
gardens of Wonosobo and the palm -groves of 
Temanggoong, unfolded itself. I was on the Dieng 
plateau. Notwithstanding the late hour, my admira- 


tion of the scenery having made my progress slow, 
I could not resist the temptation to dismount and 
follow the trail which led me down to the source of 
the Serayu beside the road, and pay my compliments 
to the shade of stalwart Bimo by way of introduc- 
tion to the regions resounding in its temples with 
his exploits and those of other worthies sung in 
the Brata Yuda} Nor indeed only in its temples : 
this same delightful retreat commemorates Bimo's 
prowess according to a legend which in its astonish- 
ing account of his supernatural virility cannot be 
repeated. Enough to say that Arjuno, making him 
dig up the toog Bimo, on the advice of Samar, the 
wily, was the first, by determining the course of the 
Serayu, to direct the water from the mountains of 
Central Java to the sea, therewith obtaining the realm 
of Ngastino. And whoever takes a bath, alone 
and at night, in the water springing from mother 
earth under the pohoon chemeti, the weeping willow 
of Bimo's fountain, will have no occasion for certain 
elixirs largely advertised in daily and weekly papers, 
will retain youthful vigour into hoariest age. 

It was dark when I arrived at the pasangrahan, 
the Government rest-house, received first by a 
shaggy, plumetailed dog of the Dieng variety, 
suspicious of strangers. Her name proved to 
be Sarama, suggesting classical associations not 

1 The Brata Yuda Yarwa is the Javanese version of the famous Kawi poem 
Bharata Yuddha which, in its turn, is founded on the Sanskrit epos Mahab- 
harata. The wrar for the possession of Hastinapura is transplanted to Java ; 
the Sanskrit proper names have passed into the nomenclature of Javanese 
history and geography ; the Indian heroes have become the founders of 
Javanese dynasties, the progenitors of Javanese nobility. 


sustained, I am sorry to record, by her master, mine 
host, a Swiss, retired from service in the Dutch 
colonial army and put in charge of the place. 
Speaking innumerable languages and every one of 
them as if it were a lingua franca composed of all 
the others, he showed me my room, took orders for 
my supper and made me comfortable, the broad, 
perpetual smile on his honest face illumining our 
polyglot conversation. Alas ! Wielandt is no more. 
Indra, who knows men's hearts, has certainly as- 
signed to this diamond, more polished, presumably, 
in its celestial than in its former terrestrial state, 
a worthy station among the jewels of the city of 
bliss, Amaravati. A man of family instincts, good 
Wielandt left several daughters, at the time of my 
visit of initiation extremely shy little girls ; and a son, 
then Sinjo Endrik, the obliging and attentive, ever 
ready to act as a guide to and otherwise to assist 
his father's guests on their excursions, now Tuan 
Endrik, his father's successor in the pasangrahan, 
while one of his brothers-in-law keeps a small, 
private hotel, opened to meet the increasing influx 
of sightseers and seekers of health. The Dieng 
plateau, especially in the dry season, would be an 
ideal site for a sanatorium. The sufferer from the 
debilitating heat on the coast in the enervating 
conditions of a continuous struggle for the next 
dollar or official preferment with fatter salary, may 
find there rest and a cool climate. Going to the 
bath-room before setting out early on some expedition, 
I have often found miniature icicles pendent from the 


panchuran, the water conduit, and riding off, have 
often heard, in crossing a puddle, the thin coating of 
ice crackle under the hoofs of myipony. Sometimes, 
at sunrise, the few remaining temples stand out 
white, the whole plateau being covered with frost, 
which makes a strange impression on one who 
but the day before yesterday sweltered in the 
fiery furnace of, for instance, the Heerenstraat at 

Waking up the morning after my first arrival, 
feeling cold, though the scene my eyes met was not 
quite so severely wintry as that just described, my 
dreams seemed to continue in reality. I beheld a 
tranquil plain different in its bright serenity from 
everything I had so far seen anywhere else, the Bimo 
temple rising to the left and the Arjuno group to the 
right, sharply outlined against the hills and the sky, 
their dark-gray colour in wonderful harmony with the 
verdure of earth and the blue expanse of heaven. 
One moment they appeared near in the clear atmo- 
sphere as if I could seize them with my hand, and 
then again very, very far, never to be approached. 
A vapour, clinging to the slope of the Pangonan in 
the direction of the Kawah Kidang, reminded me of 
the tremendous cosmic energy entering into the com- 
position of this soothing stillness, this tonic for the 
sick and worried, with the certainty of annihilation 
as final pledge of freedom. Once a lake of seething 
lava, the plateau lies enclosed by the tops of five 
mountains, the Prahu, Sroyo, Bismo, Nogosari and 
Jimat, 2050 metres above the level of the sea; the 


Pangonan and Pagar Kandang are old eruptive 
cones, formed of the mud and sand thrown out, 
which accumulated at their bases and raised the 
surrounding ground. The plateau in its narrower 
sense is now a flat stretch of turf, in places, especially 
in the middle, a morass, called the Rawa Baleh 
Kambang for its northern, and the Rawa Glonggong 
for its southern part. Ruins have been found every- 
where in the plain and up the slopes of the hills, 
even up to the summit of the Prahu. Here stand 
stone posts in a row, used by Arjuno, according to 
the legend, to tether his elephants, while his cows, 
after grazing on the Pangonan, were corralled for the 
night in the hollow. of the Pagar Kandang, lit. 
" fence of the cattle-pen " ; there, as in Dieng 
Kidool, layers of ashes among the slags and other 
debris, mark the situation in the past of the burning- 
grounds, which yield a steady harvest of bronze and 
gold finger-rings, bracelets, anklets and other objects 
of personal adornment. Ancient aqueducts, walls, 
staircases, foundations of secular buildings, clustered 
round the temples, remains of an important religious 
centre, so various and rich that Junghuhn did not 
exaggerate when calling them inexhaustible, suggest 
the existence, once upon a time, in those mountain 
wilds, of a Javanese Benares, minus the Ganges but 
plus a setting of unceasing volcanic activity, which 
demolished it by a sudden, violent outbreak. Such 
suggestions need only the seconding of one of the 
learned to be utterly ridiculed by his equally learned 
brethren of an opposite school. . . . We will let the 


matter rest at that and simply enjoy the actual calm 
of a landscape evidently exposed to destruction at 
the shortest notice, of nature recuperating from out- 
rageous debauch. 

Voices solemn and sweet summon to close 
communion with the power behind those manifesta- 
tions, the universal soul of things human and super- 
human, infernal and divine. One look more at the 
strip of turf which clasps the mysteries as a girdle 
embossed with gems, the Arjuno and Bimo shrines, 
shining in the splendour of early morning,^ — we shall 
return to them after our stroll of orientation. In 
the dessa Dieng Wetan, close to t\i& pasangrahan, is, 
or rather was, the watu rawit, a wall constructed of 
big blocks of stone, two portions of which still exist 
with a narrow staircase, hewn on a smaller scale, 
leading to the coping. The structure, largely drawn 
upon for building material, goes also by the name of 
benteng (fort of) Buddha, an appellation incompatible 
with the Sivaite origin of Dieng architecture and 
a contradiction in terms besides, considering the 
character of Gautama's teaching ; but in native 
parlance everything connected with the Hindu 
period is referred to as belonging to th&jaman buda, 
while the expression agama buda includes every 
pre-Muhammadan ancestral religion. Via Patak 
Banteng, Jojogan and Parikesit the dessa Simboongan 
may be reached, until recently the highest in Java 
(2078 metres). Founded in 181 5 by the grand- 
father of the present lurak, or chief of the village, 
its inhabitants, on whose stature and colour of skin 



the cool climate has had a visible influence, are 
very prosperous, their principal occupation being 
the preparation of a hair-oil from the seeds of the 
gandapura {Hibiscus Abelmoschus). Simboongan 
lies on the west bank of Telaga Chebong, one of the 
many lakes which add to the indescribable charm of 
the Dieng, some possessing uncanny echoes, some 
being yellow and sulphurous, some of ever changing 
hue, some of crystalline clearness and stocked with 
goldfish, while the marshy shores are a favourite 
haunt oimeliwis, a kind of duck much prized as food 
and becoming correspondingly scarce. Proceeding 
to Sikunang we get beautiful views in the direction 
of Batoor, hidden among its Chinese graves and 
orchards as in an airy robe of white and green ; along 
the mountain rills which hasten impetuously to the 
valley of Banjarnegara, meeting in the radiance of 
the sun's promise for union with the sea ; down 
to the ricefields of Temanggoong, resplendent at the 
feet of the high mountains which keep guard over 
the Kadu, a paradise dominated by the sister 
volcanoes Soombing and Sindoro, a joy to behold. 

Passing Sikunang and turning round the 
Gunoong Teroos, a spur of the Pakuojo, we notice 
some trachyte steps, the head of a staircase made 
for the convenience of pilgrims from what is now the 
residency Bagelen, to the city of temples, an ascent of 
five thousand feet. Over a long distance, following 
the course of the river Lawang, that gigantic road- 
way can be traced far below Telaga Menjer by 
stones left in holes from which it was not easy to 


remove them for building purposes. Another of these 
ondo buda on the north side of the plateau, served 
the pilgrims coming from what is now the residency 
Pekalongan, via Deles and Sigamploong, and dis- 
appeared in the same manner. Descending, a smell 
of sulphur announces a lion of the Dieng of a less 
innocent, in fact of a decidedly satanic aspect : on this 
soil always the unsuspected turns up, the remains 
of an ancient civilisation forcing themselves upon 
our attention together with impressive reminders 
of the subterranean forces which extinguished it. 
From a number of cavities on the slope of the 
Pangonan, bare of vegetation, a picture of desolation, 
noxious vapours rise and bubbles of mud are blown 
forth and burst with a rumbling noise. High above 
the rest works the Kawah Kidang, the deer-kettle, 
spouting and growling, throwing the hot liquid round 
with relish, and it is advisable to keep her well to 
leeward on her days of gala, for she changes 
frequently her aim and her mood, an index of Kala's 
disposition when stirring the bowels of the earth. 
Being the pulse of the Dieng, so to speak, she is 
regularly excited to fiercer exertion by the rainy 
season, differing also in this particular from the 
Chondro di Muka, her rival near the Pakaraman, 
with whom she has been confused even by 
geographers of name, greatly to her disparagement 
since she commands a considerably wider sphere of 
influence, not scrupling to encroach upon the domain 
of her neighbours by moving about. Wherever one 
pokes into the ground within her sphere of action. 


the steam rushes out and seething puddles are 
formed ; it is wary walking and the wise will take 
warning from the foolhardy Contr61eur whose 
curiosity prompted him a step too far : sinking 
through the upper crust into the boiling mud, he 
had his legs so badly burnt that he died of the con- 
sequences and was buried at Wonosobo instead of 
marrying his Resident's daughter at Poorworejo. 

With its mofettes, solfataras, steam-holes, mud- 
geysers, sulphurous lakes, its treacherously opening 
and closing chasms,^ last but not least its notorious 
valley of death,^ the Dieng is the region above all 
others in volcanic Java, of miracles that expound the 
antagonism between fratricide life and death on our 
turbulent planet, which continuously prepares for 
or recovers from spasms of generative destruction. 
One of these spasms, on a grander scale than usual 
in the short span of human history, was the eruption 
of Krakatoa in 1883; which raised and submerged 
islands, shaking and altering the Straits of Soonda, 
a resultant tidal wave razing the towns of Anyer 
and Cheringin. The Dieng, some three hundred 
miles off, responded faithfully, as might have been 
expected, the Kawah Kidang roaring and splashing 
mud furiously, the wall of the crater-lake Chebong 
cracking in several places, so that part of its water, 
instead of flowing through the old channel, now 

' One of those chasms, near the dessa Gaja Moongkoor, swallowed not 
merely a dancing-girl, a most common occurrence in Javanese legendary lore, 
but a whole village. 

■^ A very active mofette which the natives call the Fakaraman, i.e. the 
" selected spot " where King Baladeva had his arms forged in the Brata Yuda 


seeks its way through the fissures thus created, 
remunerative tobacco-fields being transformed into 
swamps. Such disasters preach an eloquent sermon 
on the text, hewn in stone by the builders of the 
temples here erected to Siva as Kala, the Over- 
thrower, and, transmitted with the wisdom of ages 
by a later religion, happily expressed by the 
German poet : 

Was hilft es Menschen seyn, was Hebe Blumen kussen, ' 
Warm sie sind schone zwar, dock balde nichts seyn miessen ? ^ 

The news that a troop of strolling players had 
arrived, dispelled, however, ideas of that sort, un- 
palatable truth never proving successful against 
the pleasurable excitement of the moment. They 
were going to perform at the house of the reputedly 
wealthiest man of the plateau and not the less 
highly considered by his neighbours because 
caught redhanded, not once but repeatedly, in 
handling the forbidden, as I heard afterwards. 
Living near one of the enclosures traditionally 
associated with the pyres which were extinguished 
when the Hindu priests deserted their altars, he 
gave the ton to the upper ten of Dieng society, 
" disporting like any other fly " unterrified by daily 
manifestations of cosmic potency. Surrounded by 
his ganadavatas, gods of the second rank, he 
welcomed me to the show. Mounted on sham 
horses, the actors delighted their audience with a 
sham battle which soon became a single combat 

1 What is the use of living, of kissing lovely flowers, 
If, though they are beautiful, they must soon fade into nothing? 


between two valiant knights, encouraged by masked 
clowns, funny yet exquisitely graceful in their move- 
ments : the savoir vivre of this people is perfectly 
matched with their elegance of carriage and correct- 
ness of speech and innate propriety of demeanour. 
The comedians' stage-properties did not amount to 
much and their inventive genius shone the more 
brilliantly : a tiger (for a hunt of his highness our 
common uncle ^ followed the joust) was improvised 
with jute bagging and two pieces of wood, re- 
presenting the jaws, snapping ferociously, perhaps a 
compliment to the orang wolanda present, his biped 
equivalent in native estimation, as already remarked. 
Or an allusion may have been intended to local 
events : not longer than a week before, Paman had 
tried to force Wielandt's stable, cooling his wrath, 
when baffled, on Sarama's pups. 

So much for my recollections of the histrionic 
exercises on the Dieng> and now about the 
temples! If Thomas Horsfield, in his narrative of 
the tour he made through the island between 1802 
and 1807, mentioned the so-called Buddha-roads, it 
was Raffles who sent Cornelius, Lieutenant in the 
Corps of Engineers, to survey the architectural 
remains on the Dieng plateau proper, which the 
earlier traveller had not visited. According to the 
official account of his mission, kept in the library of 

' The native's deferential fear for the animal in question, makes him 
reluctant to pronounce its name, a liberty likely to give offence ; referring to 
the lord of the woods, he speaks rather of his respected uncle (paman) or 
grandfather (kakeh), which satisfies, at the same time, his lingering belief in 
the transmigration of the soul. 


the Museum of Antiquities at Leyden and still un- 
published, he found whatever was standing of some 
forty groups, covered with clay and volcanic ashes 
up to nearly a fourth of the original height. Captain 
Baker, also commissioned by RafHes, worked three 
weeks on the Dieng after his examination of the 
ruins at Prambanan and the Boro Budoor. Junghuhn, 
whose observations date from 1838 to 1845, speaks 
of more than twenty temples in a wilderness of 
marshy woods. The woods have disappeared, the 
marshes hold their own and of his twenty temples 
only eight are left in a recognisable shape : five of 
them belong to the Arjuno group, including the 
so-called house of Samar ; the best preserved is the 
Wergodoro or Bimo ; the Andorowati and Gatot 
Kocho crumble away even faster than the rest. 
It has already been remarked that the Dieng 
structures belong to the oldest in the island, the 
hanasima inscription, transferred to Batavia, furnish- 
ing a record of the Dieng civilisation which goes 
back to 731 Saka(A.D. 809). They are interesting 
to the Indian antiquary, wrote Fergusson, "because 
they are Indian temples pure and simple, and 
dedicated to Indian gods . . . ; what (they) tell us 
further is, that if Java got her Buddhism from 
Gujerat and the mouths of the Indus, she got her 
Hinduism from Telingana and the mouths of the 
Kistnah. . . . Nor are (they) Dravidian in any sense 
of the word. They are in storeys, but not with 
cells, nor any reminiscences of such ; but they are 
Chalukyan." Later learning accepts this statement 


only with cautious reserve. Whether Chalukyan 
or not, though, it is plain even to the unlearned 
that, erected to Siva, the Mahadeva worshipped 
principally in his character of Bhatara Guru, the 
divine teacher, to his sakti Doorga and their first- 
born Ganesa, these temples, radiating the all-soul 
in the fierce glare of the midday sun, unfolding 
their secrets in the mellow moonbeams of night, 
partake fully of their mysterious surroundings., are 
integral portions of the ground they occupy, as may 
be said of all ancient Javanese buildings. Men of 
great power of imagination, deep-reasoning senti- 
ment, the builders of these marvels, working their 
thoughts up to the sky, rescued for us the essence 
of the Dieng's past existence. Their apprehension 
of universal happiness without beginning or end, 
sharpened by the desire to enjoy heaven on earth, 
lent immortality to the greatness of a people every 
vestige of whom would have disappeared but for 
their creative enthusiasm. 

Prurient prudery, keen on the scent of the nasty, 
feels shocked at the lingas and yonis lying round, 
unable in its fly-blown purity to grasp the divinity 
of eternal love in the poem of generation, the union 
of the Deva and the Devi in causation and con- 
ception of life. The Philistine sees little more than 
rubbish, heaps of stone of no earthly use except as 
havens of refuge when out shooting meliwis and 
overtaken by rain. In the Rawa Baleh Gambang 
we find five such clustered together, the chandis 
Arjuno with the house of Samar, Srikandi (Ongko 


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.) 


Wijoyo), Poontadewa (Trumo Kasumo or Sami 
Aji) and Sembrada (Sepfopo), the chief hero of the 
Brata Yuda being honoured in the midst of family 
and friends, including his funny and faithful servant. 
The kala-makara ■' ornament of the entrance to the 
chandi Arjuno tells its tale ; so do the empty 
niches designed for free-standing statuettes dissolved 
into space. Like the chandi Srikandi it was once 
surrounded by a wall and another point of re- 
semblance is the small rectangular building called 
the chandi Samar, proba:bly destined for secular 
purposes; of the Srikandi dependency, however, 
only the base can be traced. The chandi Sembrada 
deviates somewhat in architectural plan and detail, 
and the ground-idea of the decoration can be studied 
to best advantage in the chandi Poontadewa, finest 
of the group, exquisitely graceful on its high base- 
ment. Here again the makara ornament prevails, 
budding into leaves and flowers, chiselled with a 
chaste appreciation of the esthetic principle of self- 
control : In der Beschrankung zeigt sich erst dir 
Meister. Under the tapering roofs, fallen or falling 
in, which give the inner chambers an air of in- 
describable elegance, notwithstanding the cramped 
dimensions, images of holiness stood on pedestals ; 
the images have been removed, heaven knows 
whither, and even the pedestals have fared badly at 
the hands of sacrilegious robbers digging for hidden 

' Siva as Kala, the destroyer with the lion's or tiger's head, Banaspati, 
devouring the sea-monster Makara : time finishing all things and alleviating 
all distress, in respect of which notion Voltaire's short but pointed story of 
Les Deux Consoles may be profitably read. 


treasure. Trurno Kasumo, supposed to keep 
sentinel over his chandi (in bas-relief, north side), 
cannot but be scandalised at modern methods of 
research and modern behaviour in general. 

The morass shows, in the dry season, the founda- 
tions of buildings, regularly arranged, lining streets 
which intersected at right angles over a consider- 
able part of the Rawa Baleh Gambang. Their dis- 
position has been advanced to support the theory 
that the population of the Dieng lived in wooden 
houses, built on those substructures of stone. The 
theory that the superstructures of stone have been 
carried away and the submerged substructures left 
because not so easy to get at, is just as plausible ; 
perhaps a little more so. But whatever they were, 
temples and priestly or private dwellings of wood 
or stone, the officiating clergy, their assistants and 
the inhabitants of the city ministering to their 
fleshly needs, must have suffered a good deal from 
the dampness of the soil, the plateau offering 
already in those early days a field of rich promise 
for the experiments of hydraulic engineers. Among 
canals and ditches of less importance, the Guwa 
Aswotomo, a cloaca maxima some twelve centuries 
old, still relieves the plain of its superfluous water. 
According to the legend, for nothing in this locality 
goes without at least one, — according to the legend 
then, the subterraneous passage was dug by 
Aswotomo on his expedition to the Dieng for the 
purpose of smashing the Pandawas, and nearing 
Arjuno's residence he pushed his way up to the 


surface, from distance to distance, spying how far 
he had yet to continue his underground march. 
Descending into one of the peep-holes he made, 
in a season of extreme drought, I was able to crawl 
on to the next, through mud and debris which 
blocked my further progress and, unable to crawl 
out on a level fifteen or twenty feet lower, the 
watercourse sloping deeper and deeper down, I 
had to return to my point of ingress. The glory 
of this feat diminishes in the light of my knowledge 
of the circumstance that the Dieng plateau harbours 
no snakes,^ save the decorative nagas of temple 
architecture, and that a companion followed my 
movements above ground ; had we been provided 
with ropes, we might have carried our work of 
exploration much further — but that must wait for 
another time. Of the rare plant which grows 
nowhere but in Aswotomo's burrow and owes its 
growth to his copious perspiration while at his task, 
a fern possessing rare qualities, highly beneficial to 
him who pulls it out by the roots, I saw or, rather, 
felt nothing in groping my way through mire and 
darkness. Taking its course in a direction inverse 
to the mole-man's initial tunnel boring, his Guwa 
begins at the Arjuno temples as an unpretentious 
drain and runs, for about half a mile, slanting toward 
the source of the river Dolok, where Junghuhn has 
set up two lingas. 

The largest remaining and most beautiful 
temple on the Dieng is the chandi Wergodoro 

^ Query : Has St. Patrick ever been on the Dieng? 


or Bimo,^ where the Pangonan rises out of the Rawa 
Glonggong. Notwithstanding Fergusson's opinion, 
competent critics, deriving their conclusions from 
the horizontal lines of the roof-storeys, maintain 
its Dravidian or Southern Indian instead of 
Chalukyan character.^ The niches with busts, 
which impress one as windows with people poking 
out their heads to see who is disturbing their quiet, 
suggest an approach to ideas further developed in 
the architecture of the plain of Prambanan. These 
curious persons look out only at the back and at 
the sides ; the niches of the roof in front, over the 
projecting porch with kala-makara ornament, are 
all empty. With its entrance facing east, in 
contradistinction to those of the other temples 
on the plateau, which face west, the chandi Bimo 
possesses also notable peculiarities in the details of 
its sculpture : the double lotus of the cornice, 
lotus-buds and diminutive bo-trees of uncommon 
shapes, etc., while the upward tapering structural 
design displays a tendency, to the slightly curved 
lines so dearly loved by Greek builders of the best 
period and adapted by the masters of early Gothic. 
The larger, lower niches have been despoiled ; 
architraves and mouldings, festooned with foliage, 
flowers and seed-pods, divide the open spaces round 
about in a tasteful, sober manner, exciting without 

' Or Bhimo, one of Arjuno's four brothers and avenger of the honour 
of the family on Kichaka, who had fallen in love with their common vidfe 

" No buildings in the Northern Indian or Indo-Arian style have been 
found in Java. 


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.) 

'" THE DIENG 6i 

fatiguing the eye. From the fact that the decora- 
tion has not been completed, it is inferred that the 
sculptors were interrupted like their comrades at 
work on other monuments of Central Java, over- 
whelmed perhaps by the catastrophe of volcanic or 
martial nature, which depopulated the Dieng and 
coincided with the decline of the ancient empire of 
Hindu Mataram. The miraculous voice heard in 
the chandi Bimo at dead of night, is silent on this 
point. All temples have their shetans,. their bad, 
rarely good spirits, but the genius loci of the Bimo 
excels the whole Arjuno crowd of them in efficacy 
and unfailing attention to the business of the 
seekers of advice, who arrive from far and wide 
to consult the oracle. Entering after dusk the 
gate of the Dread One, Kala, one with Rudra, the 
Roarer (the Kawa Kidang) near by, they have but 
to wait in prayer at the altar of the wondrous fane. 
A strange whisper, mounting like the odour of 
melati and kenanga, tells them how to avoid the 
grim giant Danger if, on leaving, they are firmly 
determined to pursue the road of Good Desert. 

The chandis Gatot Kocho and Andorowati, 
falling into hopeless ruin, will soon be remembered 
only by their location, like the chandi Parikesit, and it 
is a pity to think of those which left no trace at all, 
whose very names are forgotten. The state of affairs 
on the Dieng plateau, said Captain, now Major T. 
van Erp,^ commissioned for the restoration of the 
Boro Budpor, leaves everything to be desired. . . . 

> Reporting to the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, January li, 1909. 


Villages came into existence and expanded. The 
inhabitants need stone substructures in building 
their houses and it is a matter of course that they 
use temple stones for that purpose ; these are here 
much smaller than those of the monuments in the 
valley of the Progo and the plain of Prambanan, 
easily carried off and exactly of the right size. . . . 
This is the case of the spoliation of the temples on 
the Dieng in a nutshell. But it should be added 
that the natives are not the only offenders. So 
much, indeed, is implied in Major van^ Erp's 
anecdote of a tourist who, examining the statuary 
adorning the grounds of the pasangrahan. a remark- 
able collection formed from miscellaneous loot, was 
invited to make his choice, the selected plunder to 
be delivered at Wonosobo in consideration of five 
guilders (a little over eight shillings). Many others 
had the same experience : numberless statues and 
stones carved into ornament have been appropriated 
by ofificial and unofficial visitors to enrich museums 
and private collections. The appointment of 
Wielandt Sr., later of Wielandt Jr. as keeper 
of the pasangrahan and of the antiquities in a 
region of archaeological interest equal to Pompeii 
and Herculaneum, without any funds whatsoever at 
their disposal, was only an incident in the con- 
tinuous farce performed by the Dutch East Indian 
Government in all its relations to monumental Java 
up to the date of its laborious confinement of the 
Archaeological Commission — and after, as I shall 
have abundant occasion to show : a farce with 


consequences sad to contemplate. This applies to 
antiquities of every description. I turn to my 
diary : In different places, when digging, layers of 
ashes are found with charred human bones imbedded, 
and often trinkets. The natives, however, keep 
their treasure-troves secret for fear of the Govern- 
ment, which has decreed, and rightly, reserving its 
rights, that they may not sell without asking for 
and obtaining permission, but appropriates every- 
thing it hears of, at ridiculously low prices ; a good 
deal is therefore sold and bought privately, not- 
withstanding the prohibition, even by officials ; a 
systematic search never having been attempted, 
none the less fine trifles are unearthed and not 
always trifles either ; last night, in the pasangrakan, 
some rings were shown to me ; the owner, acting 
very mysteriously, produced at last a statuette from 
under his baj'u, about six inches of solid gold, 
beautifully wrought ; its mate, equal in height, 
material and workmanship, he had been forced to 
sell, according to his story, for seventy guilders 
(less than £6) ; he wanted more to part with this 
one and it is certainly worth mkny and many times 
that sum ; a change in the usual sordid Govern- 
ment practice would result in remarkable discoveries; 
recently, as Dr. L. told me, an inscribed stone was 
laid bare ; when trying to have a look at it the same 
day, his informant told him that it had already been 
spirited away to prevent susah (trouble) ; not much 
is necessary to be sentenced to krakal (hard labour 
in the chain-gang) at Wonosobo. 


It is true the Government sent some one to the 
Dieng, about fifty years ago, to photograph the 
temples as they then existed and, fortunately, the 
operator chosen was I. van Kinsbergen who, haying 
made his ddbut in Java as a member of an opera- 
troupe, developed a rare artistic sense in portraying 
the deteriorating outlines of the ancient fanes of 
the island. But there the matter rested until the 
complaints became too loud and in 1910 hopes 
were held out that steps would be taken . to clear 
the ruins of parasitic vegetation, to drain the plateau 
by repairing the trenches and conduits still in 
working order since the Hindu period, incidentally 
to consider the possibility of restoring the sanctuaries 
not yet tumbled down. Names I heard in connec- 
tion with this charge, make me tremble, writes a 
correspondent from Batavia, for a repetition of the 
vandalism committed in the plain of Prambanan, 
particularly the criminal assaults on the chandi 
Plahosan and the chandi Sewu, where a Government 
commissioner tried to arrest further decay on the 
homoeopathic principle : similia similibus curantur. 
Government solicitude for conservation proves often 
more destructive than simple neglect and, to take 
an illustration from the Dieng itself (others will 
be culled in the course of my observations, from a 
plentiful supply of official bUises and bdvues, if not 
worse, in other localities), no sooner was general 
attention drawn to the enigmatic sign, described by 
Junghuhn and copied in his standard work from a 
rock between the lakes Warna and Pengilon, than 

ui THE DIENG 65 

it began to fade. Still quite clear in 1885 and up 
to 1895, despite its having been exposed to wind 
and weather during ten centuries (as surmised), it 
became fainter and fainter after that year, the process 
of a gradual loss of colour being duly noted at 
subsequent visits, until in 1902 I found it hardly 
distinguishable. To make up for the injury, a Con- 
tr61eur discovered, in 1889, supplementary tokens, 
not black but red, on the same Batu Tulis, or Watu 
Keteq as the natives rather call it, " monkey-stone ", 
because they recognise in the figure recorded by 
Junghuhn, a likeness to the animal referred to. 
The smaller red letters, or whatever they were in- 
tended for, steadily increasing in number, appearing 
in places where I had never noticed anything before, 
I could not help suspecting the little shepherds who 
look so innocent and shy and hardly venture an 
answer when spoken to, of knowing more about 
this miraculous growth of a hieroglyphic inscription 
than their artlessness implied. For all their stolid 
mien, the natives are exceedingly fond of a joke and 
what greater sport can be imagined than to get the 
wise men of Batavia and of European centres of 
erudition by the ears, inciting, them to raise always 
more learned dust in their efforts to decipher the 
undecipherable characters of an impossible language, 
each being cocksure of the infallibility of his indi- 
vidual interpretation? If, however, we have not 
to do with Kromo or Wongso his mark, the ghost 
of the Batu Tulis must be held responsible for, 
among the incorporeal inhabitants of the many 



caves in this neighbourhood, the dweller beneath 
the monkey-stone is of greatest occult potency and 
the good people who come from the adjoining low- 
land districts, even from Surakarta and Jogjakarta, 
to hear and translate the voices of the Dieng, repair 
hither, after partaking of good advice in the Bimo 
temple, to sembah (make their salutation) before the 
entrance and ask slamai (blessing and success) 
on their foreshadowed undertakings. Nocturnal 
devotions inside the cave of the Watu Keteq on a 
lucky, right lucky, carefully calculated night, means 
untold wealth, and whoever dares to brave the 
resident sprite of darkness with that desire in his 
heart, as very few do, and still remains a poor devil, 
has doubtless skipped a word of power in muttering 
his incantations or disregarded some other essential 

To the lover of mountain scenery it is far more 
profitable to wait for dawn near the triangulation 
pillar and point of junction of four residencies : 
Samarang, Pekalongan, Banyumas and the Bagelen, 
with a fifth, the Kadu, only a few paces off, when 
the Eye of Day rises to divide the waters behind the 
mountains and the rack of clouds, and, to the north 
and the south of the island, the sea begins to glimmer 
in the azure and orange tints sent before to meet 
the melting gray of vanquished darkness. Follow- 
ing its course in all-compassing space, the soul enters 
into silent communion with nature, the divine crea- 
tion of the supremely divine which teaches feeble men 
how to worship. Such moments bring a wholesome 


chastening of the flesh and as we descend, goaded 
by the fierce darts of the conqueror overhead who 
makes the earth wrap herself in her vapoury robe 
of protection, veiling the grand vision, — as we 
descend where the runnels descend that feed the 
Serayu and the Tulis winding its way to the Kawah 
Kidang, we find the plain with the chandis one 
immense temple of adoration. The Vedic subtle 
body yearns to enter the sheath of prayer, to be 
moulded by its creator into the form fit for union 
with the spirit of the world ; respiration becomes 
aspiration to the beatitude of manifest truth, of final 
rest in extinction of sin and shame and sorrow. So 
pass the hours in purification, in desire of a spark 
of the thought which breathes life into mortification 
of self. Then, at the passing of the light with the 
last flush from the West, in awe-inspiring stillness, 
the quivering stars lift their heads to watch the 
holy city of the dead ; in clear-toned stillness, the 
night-wind moaning, the Rawa lamenting the lost 
civilisation of a lost religion whose symbols remain 
but are not understood, a mourning for humanity 
labouring in vain. The Dieng has been repopulated 
with a race between whose fanciful ideals, rooted in 
a forgotten past, and the rapacity of foreign rulers 
no lasting accord seems possible. Is it ordained 
that they, the thralls and the masters, shall continue 
in their present relations ? Or will they disappear 
in their turn and, to quote Junghuhn, this mountain 
region revert to its free, natural state? Perhaps 
in the hour of upheaval native seers prophesy, when 


safety shall be found by none except to whom the 
Just Reckoner grants it. And mingling in one 
measure, which comprises the jaman buda, the time 
of bondage and the future, their dim notions of 
Mahadeva, the Beneficent Destroyer, and their 
conception of the dispensation of the Book, the 
leaders of religious exercise in the villages abide 
by their advice of submission until the true believers 
win the day, a day of glory for Islam, sure to arrive 
in the circular course of existence, which is nothing 
but Sansara, in attainment of Moslim brotherhood, 
which is nothing but Brahma Vihara, the sublime 
condition of love. Meanwhile, hearing is to be 
practised ; haply it will lead to the comprehension 
of a lesson inculcated by each of the three creeds 
amalgamated in the Javanese mind and best ex- 
pressed in the form borrowed from a fourth : The 
thing that hath been, is that which shall be ; and 
that which is done, is that which shall be done, — or, 
in the version of the greatest poet of our own age : 
Cib chefu, torna e tornerd net secoli} 

' That which has been, returns and will return through all time. 



Queen Gertrude. . . . 

. . . , all that lives must die, 
Passing through nature to eternity. 

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, I., ii. 

The vast plain of Prambanan, which extends south- 
ward from the foot of the Merapi, one of Java's 
most active volcanoes,^ is, or rather was, studded 
with Sivaite and Buddhist temples. Called, in the 
later days of ignorance regarding their signification, 
after some outstanding feature (Sewu, Loomboong, 
Asu), after gods, demi-gods and heroes of romance 
(as on the Dieng), after the villages near which they 
were found (Kalasan or Kali Bening), or after 
their general position, a good many might share the 
appellation Prambanan. In speaking of the Pram- 
banan temples, however, the group is meant which 
lies beside the main road between Surakarta and 
Jogjakarta, where the two residencies meet, but still 

' Whence its name, derived from afi (fire). 



within the boundaries of the latter. Excepting the 
Boro Budoor and Mendoot, it comprises the finest 
and most famous monuments of Central Java, which 
from olden times have been held in great veneration 
by the population, even in their neglected condition, 
when reduced to little more than heaps of overgrown 
debris, lairs of wild animals. Freed from their 
luxurious vegetation and excavated, architectural 
remains of the first order came to light with 
sculptured ornament nowhere else surpassed in 
richness of detail and correctness of execution. 
Surrounded by ruins of a mainly Buddhist character, 
these buildings were consecrated to the Hindu 
Trinity with Siva leading the Trimoorti as Bhatara 
Guru, Master and Teacher of the World. A date 
recently discovered, 886 Saka (a,d. 964), or, accord- 
ing to another reading, 996 Saka (a.d. 1074), points 
to the period when Sivaism in Java had already 
become strongly impregnated with Buddhism, a, 
circumstance fully borne out by the external 

Among the natives, the Prambanan ruins go by 
the name of chandi Loro^ Jonggrang because of the 
legend connected with their origin. Once upon a 
time Prambanan was ruled by a giant-king, Ratu 
Boko, possessed of an only daughter. Princess Jong- 
grang, and an adopted son, Raden Gupolo, whose 
father had been killed by command of the King of 
Pengging. Having sworn revenge, Raden Gupolo 
feigned love for the beautiful daughter of that 

' The title Loro designates a lady of very high birth. 


monarch and asked Ratu Boko to assist him 
in making her his wife. Ambassadors were de- 
spatched with instructions to negotiate the marriage. 
His Majesty of Pengging received them in a friendly 
manner and entertained them at his Court but, not 
wanting Raden Gupolo for a son-in-law, he sent 
secret agents in all directions to seek and bind to his 
service a hero with power to resist and subdue the 
giants, Ratu Boko's subjects, of whom he was in 
mortal fear. One of those emissaries, searching the 
slopes of the Soombing, met with the recluse Damar 
Moyoof the children of Sumendi Petoong, the chief of 
the /e^-en-drawers} Damar Moyo's wife had blessed 
him with two sons, Bondowoso, a tall and strong 
fellow, and Bambang Kandilaras, less muscular but 
more favoured in outward appearance and of a 
gentler disposition, whom he recommended as just 
the man needed for the rescue of the Princess of 
Pengging and ready for the task, provided her royal 
father would consent, in consideration of the defeat 
of the giants, to give his daughter to the young man 
with half his kingdom as dowry and the other half 
to follow after his death — which conditions prove 
that even in those remote days the saintly did not 
despise worldly advantage. The King of Pengging 
consented and Bambang Kandilaras marched against 
Prambanan, but no weapon could harm Ratu Boko, 
who roared so dreadfully that the sound and his 
breath combined were enough to knock any human 

1 Ze^M is the liquor prepared by fermentation of the sap drawn from some 
trees of the palm family. 


foe down at a distance too far to distinguish a man 
from a woman or a giant from a waringin-X.ree. 
Bambang Kandilaras fled, reporting at Damar 
Moyo's cave, and was commanded to try once 
more with the assistance of his brother Bondowoso. 
They accompHshed nothing. Bambang Kandilaras 
ran away even before the battle commenced, to hide 
himself in a ravine where the troops of Prambanan 
could not follow him, and Bondowoso, blown off his 
legs by a puff from Ratu Boko's formidable lungs, 
sought safety in precipitate retreat to the mountain 
Soombing, Then Damar Moyo taught him a 
magical word which, pronounced twice, would make 
him big and heavy as an elephant, and give him 
the strength of a thousand of those animals. Thus 
armed, Bondowoso returned to Prambanan, where 
he killed half of Ratu Boko's warriors in their sleep, 
while the other half, waking up, concentrated back- 
ward, with the enemy in hot pursuit, to tell their king 
what had happened. Nobody shall stir, said he ; I 
myself alone will settle this little business. Meeting 
Bondowoso near the village Tangkisan,^ he began 
to roar as loud and fume as hard as he could but, 
to his astonishment, his breath lacked the accustomed 
power and so he had to fight for his life hand to 
hand. It was a terrible fight : houses and gardens 
were trampled down, forests rooted up and 
mountains kicked over, while the perspiration 
dripping from the bodies of the enraged combatants 

' From tangkis, tinangkis, which, derived from nangkis, "ward off", 
means "to repel one another." 


formed a large pool, the Telaga Powiniyan.^ To 
end the struggle, Bondowoso, in a supreme effort, 
seized Ratu Boko round the middle and threw him 
into that pool, where he sank and, drowning, made 
the earth tremble with a last roar of anger and 
distress,^ Raden Gupolo, hearing the noise, 
hastened to his assistance with a few drops of the 
water of life in a cup, an elixir prepared by Mboq 
Loro Jonggrang, — only a few drops, but enough to 
resuscitate the dead giant -king if put to his lips. 
Bambang Kandilaras, however, drew his bow and, 
from the place where he had watched the fight, 
shot the cup out of the hand of Raden Gupolo, 
who thereupon attacked Bondowoso, Bambang 
Kandilaras let more arrows fly at the giant-warriors 
of Prambanan, who now rushed up to avenge their 
king's death. In the general mSl^e Bondowoso 
killed also Raden Gupolo and cut off his head, 
which he threw away in an easterly direction, 
changing it into a mountain, the Gunoong Gampeng; 
but his brains and heart he threw away in a south- 
westerly direction, changing them into another 
mountain, the Gunoong Woongkal. Thereupon 
he defeated the remaining half of the army of 
Prambanan and repaired to Pengging, claiming the 
reward for his brother. The king of that country, 
glad to be rid of the giants, was as good as his 

1 Telaga means "lake" and powiniyan, derived from winik, "seed", 
means a flooded ricefield in which the ears on the stalks, bound in sheaves, are 
put to serve for seeding. 

2 Not the last, as this legend has it, for Ratu Boko's roaring can yet be 
heard on still nights, if we may believe the people who dwell on the banks of 
the Telaga Powiniyan. 


word, wedded his beautiful daughter to Bambang 
Kandilaras and appointed Bondowoso his viceroy 
in Prambanan, with the rank and title of bupati. 
Taking up his abode in the palace of the late Raden 
Gupolo, Bondowoso happened to see Mboq Loro 
Jonggrang, who continued living in the kraton of 
Ratu Boko, and fell in love with her. He asked 
her hand in marriage and she, abhorring the man 
who had killed her father, and one so unpre- 
possessing in countenance too, but afraid to provoke 
his displeasure by a blank refusal, answered that she 
was willing to become his wife on condition of his 
providing a suitable sasrahan or wedding-present, 
nothing more nor less than six deep wells in six 
buildings, the like of which no mortal eye had ever 
seen, with a thousand statues of the former kings of 
Prambanan and their divine ancestors, the gods in 
heaven, all to be dug and built and carved in one 
night. Bondowoso called in the help of his father, 
the recluse Damar Moyo, of the King of Pengging 
and of his brother Bambang Kandilaras, all three 
of whom responded, going to Prambanan and 
uniting in prayer on the day before the night agreed 
upon by the spirits of the lower regions, who had 
been commandeered for the task by the saint of 
the mountain Soombing. The evening fell and as 
soon as darkness enveloped the earth a weird sound 
was heard of invisible hands busy laying foundations, 
erecting walls and sculpturing statuary. By half 
past three o'clock the six wells were dug, the six 
buildings completed and nine hundred and ninety- 


nine statues standing in their places. But Mboq 
Loro Jonggrang, roused from her slumbers by the 
hammering and chiselling, and suspecting what was 
going on, ordered her handmaidens out to stamp 
the patii^ and to strew the ground, where the noise 
was loudest, with flowers and to sprinkle perfume. 
The spirits of the lower regions cannot bear the odour 
of flowers and perfumes, as everybody knows ; so 
they had to desist and deserted their almost finished 
work in precipitate flight, to the consternation of 
Bondowoso, who pronounced this curse : Since the 
girls of Prambanan take pleasure in fooling a faithful 
suitor, may the gods grant that they shall have to 
wait long before they become brides ! ^ Having said 
this, yet hoping against hope, he called on his lady, 
who asked tauntingly whether the honour of his 
visit meant the announcement that the task imposed 
upon him by way of testing his love, had been 
completed. This filled the measure and he 
answered : No, it is not and you shall complete it 
yourself. The threat was immediately realised : 
Loro Jonggrang changed into a statue of stone, 
the thousandth, which terminated the labour of the 
spirits and is still to be seen in a niche on the north 
side of the principal edifice. 

' Fadi is rice in the hull, shelled by the women and girls, usually very early 
in the morning, by stamping it in blocks of wood hollowed out for the purpose. 

^ Bondowoso's curse took dire effect and the Javanese lassies of the neigh- 
bourhood, who enter the bonds of matrimony about their fourteenth year, com- 
ment with sarcastic pity on the fact that their sisters of Prambanan have, 
as a rule, to wait some ten rainy seasons longer— not without seeking 
compensation, it is alleged, after the example set by their patron saint Loro 
Jonggrang, whose maidenly life, according to the daiad chaiidi Seuiu, of 
whicli more later on, was not altogether blameless. 


The reader will recognise in this legend the 
hoary eastern material of many others current also 
in western lands. It pervades the legendary lore 
connected with the plain of Prambanan in widest 
sense, and one of its many variations, to be recorded 
farther on, applies specially to the Buddhist chandi 
Sewu or " thousand temples ", only a little distance 
from the Loro Jonggrang group ; ' in fact, originally 
adapted to account for the many ruins scattered 
over a vast area in that region, it has taken separate 
forms to meet the requirements of separate localities. 
Apart from tradition, we owe the oldest extant 
description of the Prambanan antiquities to the East 
India Company's servant Lons at Samarang, who 
wrote in 1733. The Governor- General van Imhoff 
referred to them in 1 746 and Rafifles, his successor 
during the British Interregnum, not satisfied with 
writing and talking alone, commissioned Cornelius 
with Wardenaar to survey them and make plans for 
reconstruction. After 181 6 things returned to the 
accustomed neglect : A short stay in the plain of 
Prambanan, says an authority already quoted,^ is 
sufficient to note that thousands of valuable hewn 
and sculptured stones have been and still are used 
for all sorts of purposes . . . ; from time im- 
memorial, great quantities of stone have been (and 

' The very precise ridicule this appellation, which originated in the childish 
credulity of the natives, who persist In paying homage to a statue of Doorga as 
if it were actually their petrified Mboq Loro Jonggrang ; but the real name of 
the group being unknown, why should we reject a distinction not denoted by 
the less definite term Prambanan ? 

^ Major, then still Captain T. van Erp in his report to the Batavian Society 
of Arts and Sciences, January il, 1909. 


still are) taken from Prambanan by his Highness 
the Sooltan of Jogjakarta, generally once or twice a 
year . . . ; this happens, if I am well informed, in 
compliance with a written demand, fiated by the 
local authorities. The foundation, in 1885, of the 
Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta, which under- 
took the excavation of the parts of the Loro 
Jonggrang group covered with debris and vege- 
tation, and the clearing of the whole, did little to 
ameliorate the situation with respect to the carry- 
ing away from the Prambanan temples, speaking 
collectively, of stones for the building of houses, 
factories, etc. , and of ornament for the decoration of 
private grounds and gardens. Though bills were 
posted all over the ruins, including Doorga's, alias 
Loro Jonggrang's sanctum, prohibiting, by order of 
that Society, the salving of gods and goddesses 
with boreh and the defacing of the walls with 
inscriptions, its members themselves dragged statues 
away to fill a so-called museum of their contrivance 
at the provincial capital, dislocating things of beauty, 
ranging the disjecta membra on scaffoldings in a 
shed as crockery on the shelves of a cupboard. 
The monuments of Prambanan being primarily 
mausolea, their first concern was to dig for the 
saptaratna, the seven treasures buried with the 
ashes of the dead under the images of the deities 
hallowing those perishable remains. The plunder 
consisted in urns contaming, besides the ashes, coins, 
rubies and other precious stones, pieces of gold- and 
silver-leaf with cut figures (serpents, tortoises. 


flowers), strips of gold-foil inscribed with ancient 
characters, fragments of copper and glass, etc. The 
mortuary pits easiest to rifle, had already been 
emptied before the semi-official spoilers turned their 
attention to them. This chapter is not the most 
glorious in the history of the Archaeological Society 
of Jogjakarta which, on the other hand, started a 
work too long neglected by the Dutch Government, 
even after Raffles' vigorous initial effort. Incident- 
ally it promoted the schemes of the superficial 
yet very ambitious, pushing to the front on the 
strength of what should have been put to the credit 
of more capable but, to their detriment, more 
modest labourers in the archaeological field: It is 
not always the most deserving horses that get the 
oats, says a Dutch proverb. 

The Sivaite character of the temples of Pram- 
banan would be sufficiently indicated, if there were 
no other proofs, by the sepulchral cavities they 
inclose and which define them as the monuments of 
a graveyard consecrated to the memory of the great 
and mighty of Hindu Mataram, who worshipped 
Siva as Mahadeva, the Supreme God, Paramesvara, 
the Maker, the Maintainer, the Marrer to make 
again. Sepulchral pits or wells are, indeed, the 
Sivaite hall-mark in the architecture of Java and 
here, at Prambanan, we find, in so far as preserved, 
the finest of the edifices raised to encompass and 
revet such pits, temple-tombs built for the glorifica- 
tion of the Creator in creative consciousness, highest 
boon granted to humanity, a glimmering of his All- 


Soul which, leaving the dust to return to dust, 
aspires to union with the Uncreated. A central 
group of eight shrines, once surrounded by number- 
less smaller ones, witnesses, in soberness of well- 
balanced outline, in precision of detail, to the 
exquisite art of those Hindu- Javanese master- 
builders who, like the architects of our old 
cathedrals, were unconcerned as to the opinion of 
man, but had the adoration of the godhead in mind 
and made the whole world partake of the divine 
blessing which quickened heart and hand, whether 
then descending from Siva's nature as the essence 
of the Trimoorti, or from the sublime truth sym- 
bolised in the Christian Holy Trinity. The marvels 
of design and execution still standing at Prambanan 
in their dilapidated state, on a terrace excavated in 
1893-4, were arranged, with the smaller ones now 
altogether gone, in a square whose sides faced the 
cardinal points. The material used in their con- > 
struction was a kind of trachyte which, originally 
yellowish and hard to chisel into shape, has assumed 
a dark gray colour and by the richness of the 
sculptured ornament gives an impression as if 
easily moulded like wax. The three western 
temples, of which the one in the middle, consecrated 
to Siva or, according to the natives, the chandi 
Loro Jonggrang proper, is the largest, correspond 
each with a smaller structure to the east ; still 
smaller chandis bound the space between the two 
rows to the north and south. The buildings 
dedicated to the Trimoorti, set squarely with a 


square projection on each side, rest on basements of 
the same polygonous conformation, so much in 
favour with the architects of that period ; the inner 
rooms are on an elevated level because of their 
position over the vault-like compartments saved out 
in the substructures, and can be reached by stair- 
cases, once provided with porches, leading to the 
storeyed galleries. Vestiges of 157 diminutive 
chandis outside the rampart which encircled the 
central group, testify to the former existence of 
many and many more, shut in by a second and a 
third demolished wall. A closer inspection of the 
ruins, revealing beauties not yet departed, leads to 
an apprehension of what has been irrevocably lost. 
These temples of the three gods who are but one, 
always reminded me in their pathetic desolation of 
the capellas imparfeitas of Santa Maria da Victoria ; 
what is incomplete, however, unfinished at Batalha, 
has run to decay at Prambanan — there the budding 
promise and arrested blossoming of an artistic idea, 
here the scattered petals of the full-blown flower 
rudely broken off its stem. 

Siva is the keynote of the Prambanan group, 
Siva, the Jagad, the Bhatara Guru, according to his 
prevalent title in the island. In the temple which 
bears his name, he appeared as the leader in the ex- 
terior chapel looking south ; his wife, Doorga, looks 
north ; their first-born, Ganesa, looks west. The 
latter, sitting on his lotus cushion, is represented as 
the Ekadanta, the elephant deprived of one of his 
tusks when fighting Parashu Rama ; a third eye in 


his forehead betokens his keenness of sight ; he 
wears in his crown the emblematic skull and crescent 
of his father ; one of his left hands brandishes his 
father's battle-axe; one of his right hands holds 
the string of beads suggesting prayer ; his father's 
upawita, the hooded snake/ is strung round his 
left shoulder and breast. Doorga, his mother, born 
from the flames which proceeded from the mouths 
of the gods, stands on the steer she killed when 
the terrific animal had stormed Iridra's heaven and 
humiliated the immortals ; her eight hands ^ wield 
the weapons and other gifts bestowed upon her by 
the deities at their delivery : Vishnu's discus, Surya's 
arrows, etc. etc., while her nethermost right hand 
seizes the enemy's tail and her nethermost left hand 
the shaggy locks of the demon Maheso, who tries 
to escape with the monster's life. This magnificent 
piece of sculpture, highly dramatic and yet within 
the limits of plastic art, the unknown maker having 
instinctively obeyed the rules formulated in Lessing's 
Laokoon, some thousand years after his labours were 
ended, is the petrified Lady Jonggrang, victim of 
Bondowoso's revengeful love. It does not matter 
to the native that Siva has always claimed her as 
his consort, if not under the name of Doorga then 
under that of Kali or Uma, ever since she, Parvati, 
the Mother of Nature, divided herself into three 
female entities to marry her three sons, who are none 
but he who sits enthroned as Mahadeva in the inner 

' The sculptor showed his independence by disregarding the more canonical 
number of sixteen or ten. 



chamber, looking east, with his less placid personifi- 
cations, the dvarapalas (doorkeepers) Nandisvara 
and Mahakala, the wielders of trident and cudgel, 
guarding the entrance, supported by demi-gods and 
heroes. The colossal statue of their heavenly lord, 
broken into pieces by the falling roof, has been 
restored and replaced on its padmasana (lotus 
cushion). In this shape the god wears the makuta 
(crown) with skull and crescent, has a third eye in his 
forehead and a cobra strung round his left shoulder 
and breast ; his body, decked with a tiger's skin, rests 
against the prabha, his aureole ; one of his left 
hands holds his fly-flap, one of his right hands 
his string of beads ; of his trident only the stick 

Siva, the one of dreadful charm, is everywhere, 
either personified or in his attributes : he dominates 
the external decoration of the Vishnu and the 
Brahma temples too, in the latter case as guru, even 
to the exclusion of all other gods ; the middle chandi 
of the eastern row, facing his principal shrine, has 
his vahana, the bull ; the one to the north his smaller 
image, while in the third, to the south, wholly 
demolished, no statuary can be traced. The inner 
chambers of the subordinate buildings show more 
plainly than that of Siva, which is adorned with 
flowery ornament, that the Sivaite style concen- 
trated ornamentation rather on the exterior than on 
the interior. The four statues of Brahma, the master 
of the four crowned countenances, who lies shattered 
among the debris of his temple, and the four statues 


of Vishnu in his (a large one with makuta, prabha, 
chakra and sanka, and three smaller ones, represent- 
ing him in his fourth and fifth avatar and in his 
married state with his sakti Lakshmi in miniature 
on his left arm), are chastely conceived in the chaste 
surroundings of their chapels. In addition to the 
sorely damaged Ramayana reliefs, presently to be 
spoken of, they dwell, however simple the interior 
arrangement of their cells may be, among richly 
carved images of their peers and followers stationed 
outside : Vishnu among his own less famous avatars 
and supposed Bodhisatvas between female figures ; 
Brahma, as already remarked, among personifications 
of the ubiquitous Siva in his quality of teacher, 
accompanied by bearded men of holiness. Siva's 
nandi, a beautifully moulded humped bull, emblem 
of divine virility, watches his master's abode, attentive 
to the word of command, — watches day and night 
as symbolised by Surya, the beaming sun, carrying 
the flowers of life when rising behind her seven 
horses, and by Chandra, the three-eyed moon, drawn 
by ten horses, waving a banner and also presenting 
a flower, but one wrapped in a cloud. The chandis 
of the eastern row, fortunately not yet despoiled of 
these striking specimens of Sivaite sculpture, the 
statue of Siva opposite the Vishnu temple and 
enough to enable one to recognise that they too had 
once a band of ornament in high and low relief, 
emphasise even in the ruinous condition of their 
substructures, polygonous like those of the larger 
temples but on square foundations, the mystery 


attaching to the fascination exercised by the main 
building they supplement, and whose decoration, 
strictly Sivaitic on the inside while partaking of the 
Buddhistic on the outside, has racked many brains 
for an explanation. The bo-trees and prayer-bells, 
profusely employed in its external embellishment, 
together with figures agreeable to the Bodhisatva 
theory, have led some to advance the opinion that it 
is a purely Buddhist creation, though perhaps tinged 
with Sivaite notions. They were met with the 
objection that there is no sign of a dagob as dis- 
tinguishing Buddhist feature ; that the riddle of the 
resemblance between the statuary on the outside 
of the Siva temple and the conventional representa- 
tion of Bodhisatvas, could find its solution in the 
canonisation or deification of kings and famous 
chiefs, a practice as old as ancestor-worship, which 
held its own in Java from pre-Hindu days up to our 
own. However this may be, if the Prambanan 
temples, and especially the one particularly dedicated 
to the great god of the Trimoorti, preached orthodox 
Sivaism to the elect of its innermost conviction, 
while tainted externally with the heresy of the 
deniers of the existence of gods, the indubitably 
Buddhist Mendoot reverses the process. This and 
the syncretism discernible in nearly all the chandis 
of Java, shows the religious tolerance of the Javanese 
in the Hindu period. And religiously tolerant they 
are still as true believers in the true faith of 
Islam ; the fanaticism one occasionally hears of, 
roots rather in discontent from economic causes 


than in bigotry or over-zealous devotion to a creed 
which declares rebellion for conscience' sake against 
a firmly established rule that recognises it, to be 

The demi-gods and heroes with their followers 
on the outside of the Siva temple, occupy, counting 
from the base upward, the third tier of ornamenta- 
tion, also the highest in the roofless condition of the 
building : the few niches left above are empty. 
Beneath, the story of Rama, an incarnation of 
Vishnu, is told in bas-reliefs which belong to the 
very best Hindu sculpture discovered in Java or 
anywhere else. The division of the casements is 
effected by bo-trees, sitting lions and standing or 
dancing women in haut- relief, especially the last 
being of exquisite workmanship. In endlessly vary- 
ing attitudes, embracing one another or tripping the 
light fantastic toe, retreating and advancing, their 
measured steps being regulated by the musicians on 
interspersed panels, they represent the apsaras, 
nymphs of heaven, adorning the house of prayer 
to acquaint mortal man with the joys in store for the 
doer of good. The human birds and other mythical 
animals under the bo-trees, the prayer-bells and 
flowers in the garlanded foliage, enhance the charm 
of this ingenious decoration, the splendidly limbed 
virgins disporting themselves in a frame of impos- 
ing magnificence, their graceful movements being 
worthily seconded by the sumptuous setting. Nor 
does this wealth of detail, this marvellous display 
of artistic power, of skill perfected by imaginative 


thought, divert the attention from the divine idea 
embodied in Siva or from the introduction to its 
understanding provided by the Ramayana, initiating 
the beholder's intelligence by degrees. All is so 
well balanced that the lower guides to the higher 
in whetting comprehensive desire. First, on reach- 
ing the terrace, starting from the low level of vulgar 
interest, curiosity and sympathy are awakened by 
the epic which shared popular favour with the 
Brata Yuda. It is not known who enriched the 
literature of Java with a version of the Ramayana 
adapted to Javanese requirements ; as in the case 
of the Mahabharata he was probably one of the 
poets living at the cultured courts of the eastern 
part of the island. Whatever his name, he made a 
hit with his tale of the god who descended from 
heaven, bent on flirting with the daughters of 
men, and won a wife, the tenderly loving Sita, by 
drawing Dhanusha, the mighty bow of Siva. His 
success may be appraised by the circumstance thait 
scenes taken from his poem were deemed suitable 
to embellish the tombs of sovereign rulers. Can 
it be called an improvement after more than a 
thousand years of progressive western civilisation 
that we, to honour the memory of our dead, make 
shift with inflated epitaphs advertising virtues in 
life often conspicuous by an absence which the 
maudlin angels of our cemeteries, rather than 
shedding undeserved, vicarious tears, perpetually 
seem to bemoan on their own account ? 

The adventures of Vishnu in his Rama guise are 


told from the moment of Dasharatha, King of 
Ayodhya, invoking his aid to make the royal 
consorts partake of the blessing of motherhood. 
Vishnu, resting on the seven -headed serpent of 
the sea, Sesha or Ananta, the one without end, 
dispenses a potion which makes Kantalya, who 
drinks half of it, conceive Rama ; Kaykaji, who 
drinks a fourth part of it, Bharata ; and the third 
spouse, who drinks the rest, the twins Lakshmana 
and Shatrughna. We can follow Vishnu, reborn 
from mortal woman, on the reliefs of the Siva 
temple, which are tolerably preserved, through the 
first stages of his earthly career as Rama, but must 
renounce studying his subsequent story on the 
exterior of the temples dedicated to himself and 
Brahma, where the third tier of sculpture has 
altogether disappeared, save a few mutilated bas- 
reliefs. That is a great pity, for the illustration 
of the Ramayana by the artists entrusted with the 
decoration of the chandi Prambanan, judging from 
what we still possess, marks the apogee of Hindu- 
Javanese art ; revelling in accessory ornament, it 
never surfeits, keeping the leading idea well in 
view, every embellishment adding to its intrinsic 
value. The heavy moulding above the lowest band 
of chiselled work of the Siva temple has fortunately 
protected it from being damaged by falling stones ; 
here we are able to discover the sculptor's technique 
at close quarters and it is worthy of note that some 
of the curly lions are wanting in their appointed 
places. This, coupled with the fact that a few of 


the apsaras remained unfinished, while others, like 
statues of gods on higher planes, have only been 
outlined, and spaces, evidently contrived for 
ornament, present flat surfaces, has led to the 
conjecture of a catastrophe which surprised the 
builders and made them suspend their labours as 
in the case of the Bimo temple of the Dieng 

One of the salient features of the decoration at 
Prambanan, indeed of all ancient Javanese art, 
Sivaite and Buddhist, is the representation of 
animal life as an important factor in human destiny. 
If the Buddha was called the Sakya Sinha, the Lion 
of the Sakyas, and his sylvan embodiment adorns in 
many reproductions the Boro Budoor, his stateliest 
temple, at Sivaite Prambanan we find the king of 
the desert extensively utilised in the general decora- 
tion, together with the beasts of the field under the 
bo-trees and fanciful combinations of man and his 
lowly friends, not dumb but of different speech, like 
the kinnaris, the bird-people. The Ramayana bas- 
reliefs echo the kindness^ shown to those humble 
companions in Indian myth, history and present-day 
asylums for the aged and infirm among them. 
Attending the monkey warriors with whose help the 
simian deity Hanoman restored King Sugriva to 
the throne of his forefathers at Kishkindhya (an 
allusion, it is thought, to the doughty deeds of the 
aborigines of the Deccan), bajings ^ and bolooks ^ are 

^ Stimulated especially by Buddhist and Jain influences. 

2 Squirrels : Sciurus nigrovittatas and Pteromys elegans and nitidus. 


gambolling round the house of the Most Awful 
and Mysterious, once worshipped here by great 
nations whose very names are lost, but whose art, 
giving a place to all creation in symbolic expression 
of the divine, still teaches us the lesson that the 
animals are also children of the gods, endowed with 
life not to be exterminated to serve our pleasure 
and our vanity, or to be abused for our profit, but 
to enjoy the fullness of the earth and the good gifts 
of heaven as we do ourselves, or might do if we 
were wise. Mother Nature, Siva's sakti Doorga, 
nurses at her bosom all her husband's offspring, 
without distinction, and at Prambanan she super- 
intends the growing world, as the mistress of his 
household, in the highly finished form the artist has 
given her : Loro Jonggrang, daughter of Ratu Boko 
of the Javanese legend. Not in her outward 
character of the demon-steer subduing virago does 
she attract her worshippers here, nor in that of the 
woman of the golden skin riding the tiger, full of 
menace, but in that of Uma, the gentle goddess 
who sheds light on perplexing problems of conduct, 
to whom one turns in distress. Ideal of high-born 
loveliness, Loro Jonggrang is especially venerated 
by those of her own sex who are in trouble or have 
a desire to propound in the fumes of incense they 
burn : barren matrons praying for issue from their 
bodies to their lords and masters, like the wives of 
King Dasharatha ; virgins anxious to get married ; 
pseudo-virgins who have trusted too much in the 
promises of their lovers, following the hadat 


established by herself at Prambanan and diligently 
observed (not only, it should be noticed, in that 
neighbourhood, but likewise where no one ever 
heard of Loro Jonggrang and her escapades 
d'amour), insisting that, in the name of the pre- 
cedent she set, consequences shall be warded off. 
When pasar, i.e. market, falls on a Friday,^ her 
votaries are exceptionally numerous, mostly native 
women entreating deliverance from female ills or 
help in the attainment of feminine wishes. Chinese, 
half-caste and occasionally European ladies may, 
however, be observed among them : it is said that 
several happy mothers of the ruling race at 
Jogjakarta and Surakarta owe their husbands 
and children to Notre Dame de Bon Secours of 
Prambanan ; that brides having obtained their 
heart's desire in union with the beloved, the 
bridegrooms in their turn repair to her shrine, 
after a honeymoon ended in storm-clouds, with an 
earnest supplication for means of release. This 
explains the sprinkling of males among the fair 
devotees on Fridays, dejected looking persons who 
smear the statue of Doorga with borek, despite 
notices to desist, supplicating her to repeal former 
decrees, having different objects in view, of course, 
with their salvings of Ganesa and Siva's nandi. 
Favours are requested, pledges are given, votive 
sacrifices are performed, the gods and their attri- 
butes, Mboq Loro Jonggrang in the first place, are 

' Pasar is held once every five days and once every thirty-five days it falls, 
therefore, on a Friday. 


wreathed and festooned with flowers in compliance 
with an old Hindu custom so deeply rooted that 
we may notice grave, turbaned hajis yielding to it, 
unheedful of the Prophet's anathemas against those 
who commit the unpardonable sin of idolatry, stray- 
ing more widely from the right path than the 
brute cattle, wicked doers, companions of hell- 
fire whose everlasting couch shall be on burning 

As the exhalations of the incense rise to the 
dying rays of the sun and mix with the scent of the 
kembangan telon, the flowers of sacrifice, melati, 
kananga and kantil, the soughing of the trees in the 
evening breeze repeats the lessons taught by an 
ancient inscription found near the temples of 
Prambanan, and a summary of which Hindu- 
Javanese Libra del Principe, taken from a transla- 
tion by a Panambahan of Sumanap, may be accept- 
able : What has been here set down, was in the 
beginning an ancestral tradition, very useful if 
observed, but, if disregarded, it becomes a curse. 
This inscription was made in the year 396 (?), in 
the third month, on a Friday in the sixth era. Let 
it inform you of the most exalted, of the road 
to enlightenment and happiness, to attain your 
country's progress and prosperity. Proof thereof 
will be cheap food and raiment, and universal peace, 
that those who honour the gods may lead tranquil 
lives. Honouring the gods is the perfection of 
conduct. Whosoever strives after that will be 
smiled upon by them, for the practising of virtue 


provides access to heaven, which shines in splendour, 
and all gods will unite with the supreme Siva 
Bathara Indra to assist the practiser of virtue. But 
whosoever does wrong will go to perdition and his 
appearance will be monstrous, his shape like the 
shape of a dog ; such a one acts unwisely because 
he turns away from virtue and obeys his passions, 
which are his enemies. It seems good to know 
this in life, in order to practise virtue and praise the 
godhead, believing in Bhatara, who has power over 
the world, possessing heaven and earth. The 
teachers must also be respected, without exception, 
because of their venerable charge, and you must 
learn of them to honour Bathara above all gods, 
the Omnipotent, the Ruler and Maintainer of every- 
thing. Praise him in order that you may gain 
happiness and bliss even while you live on earth. 
Honour your parents and the parents of your 
parents and their teachings, which are inviolable, as 
they before you considered inviolable the teachings 
which came to them from their parents and 
ancestors as received from the god Bathara, who 
opened their hearts to probity. Know that they 
were allowed to adorn themselves with fragrant 
flower-buds wherever their influence penetrated : 
this will also be your privilege after the purifica- 
tion of your minds. Conduct yourselves honestly 
according to divine direction, acquire discretion and 
try to resemble the illustrious kings of the past who 
compassed the felicity of their subjects. Be no re- 
garders of persons either among the good or among 


the bad ; all are mortals in a fleeting world. This 
consider : Bathara is the King of Kings who ordains 
the holy institutions. Fill the place of a father 
among his children. If there are any of your subjects 
who act wickedly, command them to mend their ways ; 
if they persist in evil, teach them to distinguish 
between what is good and what is bad in their souls, 
to the advantage of the living. Excellent men must 
be appointed to manage the affairs of the people. 
These three things are of highest importance : that 
proper instruction be given ; that your subjects 
become prosperous instead of poor through oppres- 
sion ; that every one of them know the boundaries of 
his fields. Persevere in honouring Bathara ! Glorify 
him and inherit joy ! Dress cleanly and keep your 
bodies clean. Acknowledge the omnipotence of 
Bathara Giri Nata and, protected by him, no one 
can harm you. May his superiority be reflected in 
you to confound the wicked doers. If you desire a 
change of station, seek seclusion to do penance in 
order that Bathara's brilliancy may become visible 
in you. Nothing is so beautiful and so profitable 
to you as the conquest of your passions, subduing 
them to a pure mind and lofty aspirations, vanquish- 
ing the enemies of virtue who reveal themselves : it 
will help to proclaim your lustrous righteousness. 
Glorify Bathara ! He will descend in his benefi- 
cence to show you the way. Reflect seriously: 
some day you must die ; ponder over the mystery 
of life and make the ignorant understand for their 
own salvation. Behaving in this manner, happiness 


cannot escape you, kings of good rule, all of whose 
prayers will be listened to and with whom no one 
can be compared : this is the sign of the eminence 
of the sovereign who dominates men as the tiger 
dominates whatever breathes in the forest. The 
gods will protect such kings to the benefit of their 
subjects, traders and carriers of merchandise and 
labourers in the fields. Nothing is denied to the 
obedient, for the gods ward off evil from their 
thrones ; evil is known in heaven before it touches 
the mortals on earth. Glorify Bathara ! The men 
of rank and high birth who serve kings, must be 
of middle age. In their fiftieth year it behoves 
them to retire from the world into prayerful soli- 
tude to die as a child dies ; let the body suffer for 
the soul, crowning the end of life. As you grow in 
knowledge your wishes will be fulfilled and your 
soul will leave its prison. The token of higher 
knowledge is evident. Where does the soul go ? 
It gains in beatitude or, if no progress has been 
made, it seeks a refuge in the bodies of animals and 
people of mean appetites. Gaining in beatitude, 
it reaches heaven, the garden of rest, but hell is the 
abode of sin. Cleanse, therefore, your thoughts ; 
eschew impurity ! Do not favour the wealthy, nor 
despise the poor ; all are equally confided to your 
care. O ye, who are kings and represent the gods 
in your kingdoms, listen to this admonition and 
know your responsibility for the ultimate lot of your 
subjects. Bathara, the lord of life and death, will 
call you to account. Woman has been created 


inferior to man ; but many men are enticed to 
wrong-doing by the smooth speech of their women- 
folk, who lack perception by the inscrutable decree 
of the gods. Woman wishes to control man, taking 
her caprice for wisdom, always pressing him to 
follow her fancies. The chronicles, however, 
mention the names of queens like Sri Chitra Wati, 
Sinta Devi and Sakjrevati Drupadi. In the days 
of Dhipara Jaga, Tirta Jaga, Karta Jaga and Sang 
Ngara bloody wars devastated the land ; kings 
were bewitched and changed into dragons and 
elephants because they disregarded the ordinances 
of Bathara and also because they were weak, not 
able to restrain their burning passion for beautiful 
women, acting differently from that which behoves 
those in authority. Possess your souls in contin- 
ence ! Bathara watches and you are unacquainted 
with the hour of your death. 

The shadows of evening thicken ; darkness 
gathers, darkness in the train of Rahu, the devourer 
of sun and moon, robing the temples in gloom. 
Fire-flies, darting from between the sculptured bo- 
trees and festooned foliage, begin to hold their 
nocturnal feast but subside before a red glare, 
nascent in the holy of holies. They return, as if 
borne by strange, wild melodies, and grow into the 
luxurious forms of luminous nymphs, the apsaras, 
who leave their stations round the house of fear to 
dance their voluptuous dance of death, renouncing 
their allegiance to the Mahadeva to court Kama of 
the flowery bow, consumed by the desire to enjoy 


life and life's best before the approach of the mower 
cutting them down. Their mates, the gandharvas, 
excite them in their weird revelry with songs and 
the musicians urge them with the clang of tabors 
and cymbals. Shaped for the enchanting arts of 
love, skilled in the wiles of female magic, they move 
in a whirl of passion, like flames of fire, more 
redoubtable to man than the sword and arrows of 
his bitterest foe. Luring the unwary who tarry at 
Prambanan when the fates, weaving the web of the 
world, change the colours of day into night's 
blackest dyes, when the lotus-blossoms hang heavy 
on their stems and the air is burdened with the 
odour of incense and sacrificial wreaths, they intend 
his subversion by a mirage of delight, a hallucina- 
tion of the senses, and present the gratification of 
carnal desire as the triumph of reason. Woe to 
him if he does not resist in the delirium of his 
infatuation ! The moment he tries to grasp their 
flitting forms, they evade him as a mountain stream 
in spate, as the spray of its water dashing down the 
rocks, as foam on the surging brine. The apsaras 
mock, the gandharvas hiss him, the musicians howl, 
all turning again to stone, having instilled their 
subtle poison into his heart. He seeks in vain the 
joy they held out to him, begs in vain for a draught 
of the soma, the nectar of the gods. Then, shooting 
out from the great god's abode as a flash of light- 
ning, the red glare takes substance and Siva appears 
in his most terrible aspect, Kala, destroying time, 
waving the skull which springs from the lotus stem, 





menacing men and cattle, the wild beasts of the 
woods, the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, 
with the triskula, the trident of desolation. Behind 
him the Devi, his spouse, emerges from her niche, 
riding Vayu, the stormwind, not Doorga or Uma 
disguised as Loro Jonggrang, but Kali, the furious, 
of hideous countenance, crowned with snakes, 
dripping with blood. Lifting up her voice above 
the roaring of her steed, she joins the Dread One, 
Rudra, the Thunderer, and passion and baffled 
desire become a portion of the tempest she raises, 
the odour of the kembangan telon breathing agony. 
Mahakala, the Almighty Overthrower, deals death 
under his veil. But if the night of terror begins in 
darkness, it will end in dawn and light of day : all 
that lives, is born to die for new life to succeed, and 
so teaches Siva himself, the Bhatara Guru. In 
adoration of Ganesa, the fruit of his union with 
Parvati, wisdom will accrue to him who learns the 
lesson ; enlightenment from the spectacle of time, the 
demolisher, fortifying fecund nature, reanimating 
the universe in anguish of decay. Wisdom is the 
great gift, purification of the soul in abstinence 
from the pleasures which drag it down, to keep the 
spark of the divine undefiled in its earthly sheath with 
the aid of the father and the son, whose distinctive 
qualities merge in Wighnesa, the vanquisher of 
obstacles. Drinking their essence, man's hearing 
and knowing leads to affection and commiseration, 
to the second Brahma Vihara, the sublime condition 
of sorrow at the sorrow of others, and when dissolution 


98 MONUMENTAL JAVA chap, iv 

arrives as a reward, Yama, the judge of the dead, 
will find no cause for reproach. The good will 
enter the diamond gate, but grievous torment awaits 
the foolish who pamper the flesh and are ensnared 
by the daughters of lust. 




Le bori sens nous dit que les choses de la terre n'existent que bien 
peu et que la vraie rfelit^ est dans les r^ves. Charles Baudelaire, 
Les Paradis Artificiels {DMication). 

Except during a period of some four centuries and 
a half, from about 940 till the palmy days of 
Mojopahit, when declining Hindu civilisation, for 
reasons as yet unexplained, sought a refuge farther 
east, Central Java and especially that part of it 
known in our time as the Principalities, i.e. Sura- 
karta and Jogjakarta, has always been the heart of 
the island. There lived and live the true Javanese, 
the people of heaven's mercy, cherishing their old 
traditions ; these and the beautiful scenery of their 
fire-mountains and fertile valleys are still theirs, 
whatever else may fail : glory, power and freedom. 
They lived and live in their world of custom and 
formality a life unintelligible in its inner workings 
to the western brain, impenetrable to the western 
eye. There are forces hidden in the Javanese 
mind, the resultant of a strangely moved past, 



which we can never understand, though we may 
admire their creative energy, revealed in the now 
conventional designs guiding the hand of the potter, 
the wood-carver, the goldsmith, the armourer, the 
batikker^ hereditary practisers of dying arts and 
crafts ; in the remains of a marvellous architecture 
long since altogether dead. No chapter in the 
whole history of eastern art, says Fergusson, is so 
full of apparent anomalies or upsets so completely 
our preconceived ideas of things as they ought to 
be, as that which treats of the architectural history 
of the island of Java . . . ; the one country to which 
they (the Hindus) overflowed, was Java, and there 
they colonised to such an extent as for nearly a 
thousand years to obliterate the native arts and 
civilisation and supplant it by their own . . . ; what 
is still more singular is, that it was not from 
the nearest shores of India that these emigrants 
departed but from the western coast. ... A linga, 
erected in the Kadu in the year 654 Saka (a.d. 732), 
a Sivaite symbol of generation, marks the origin of 
an artistic activity whose most brilliant period, the 
classical one of central Javanese architecture, as 
G. P. Rouffaer styles it rightly, begins with the 
construction of such buildings as the Buddhist 
chandi Kalasan or Kali Bening. The inscription of 
King Sanjaya in Venggi characters, and vestiges of 
Vaishnav tendencies in the Suku and Cheto temples 
of a much later date, point to the worship of Vishnu, 

' Batikking is the art of dyeing woven goods by immersing them in 
successive baths of the required colour, protecting the parts to be left undyed 
by applying a mixture of beeswax and resin. 


while Brahma's four sublime conditions and more 
subtle transcendentalism do not seem to have 
attracted the Javanese converts to Hinduism, 
They could grasp the unity of Siva's threefold 
functions much better and accepted him as Mahadeva 
at the head of the Trimoorti. The advent of 
Buddhism in its mahayanistic form, the creed of the 
northern church so called, served to emphasise 
native tolerance. Sivaism and whatever there was 
of Vishnuism, harmonised with Buddhism to the 
extent of borrowing and lending symbols, emblems 
and divine attributes ; Hindu gods played puss in 
the corner with Bodhisatvas, as already remarked 
upon in the preceding chapter ; the chandi Chupu- 
watu surprises us with a stupa-linga ; ^ a Javanese 
prince of the thirteenth century bears the expressive 
name of Siva- Buddha ; the old Javanese Sang 
Hiang Kamahayanikan contains the dictum : Siva 
is identical with Buddha.^ If more inscriptions had 
been found, more light might have been thrown on 
the anomalous ornamentation of, for instance, the 
Prambanan temples and the Mendoot; but Sivaite 
records of the kind leaving the matter unexplained, 
Buddhist information is still scantier, perhaps a 
consequence of Baghavat's followers not excelling 
in epigraphy or literary labours of any description. 

' A stupa, lit. a mound, a tumulus, is a memorial structure, sometimes 
raised over a relic of the Buddha, one of the eight thousand portions into 
which his ashes were divided, or a tooth, or any other fragment of his remains. 
The combination of such a memento of the Most Chaste with the emblem 
of supreme virility is syncretism indeed ! 

"^ Professor Dr. H. H. Juynboll in the Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en 
Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch Indie, Ser. vii., vol. vi., nr. i. 


If the backwash of great political events or 
religious discussion when the Islam superseded 
older creeds, may have aided Kala, the Destroyer, 
in. demolishing a good many buildings of the 
classical period, whose sites even are sought in 
vain, it is certain that the pioneers of western 
civilisation, proud of their superiority, willfully and 
wantonly undid in many places work that had 
been spared by time and earthquakes and volcanic 
eruptions and enemies born of the soil, devastating 
with fire and sword their brethren's hearths and _ 
houses. Christian zealots regarded the ancient 
monuments as assembly-rooms of the Devil where 
the benighted heathen used to foregather in idolatry, 
lodges of abomination the sooner razed the better, 
a pious feeling often translated into action on 
grounds of utility : the stones offered excellent 
building material. Officials and particulieren^ of 
broader views, besides acknowledging the service- 
ableness of chandis in this respect, went recho- 
hunting^ for the adornment of their houses and 
gardens. Quite a collection has been formed in the 
residency grounds at Jogjakarta, the nucleus of 
which was moved thither from the estate Tanjong 
Tirta, whose former occupants, like most of the 
landed gentry, made exceedingly free with the 
temples and monasteries in that neighbourhood. 

' Those not in the Government service : planters, industrials, etc., always 
of lower caste in general, especially official esteem, than the select who draw 
their salaries from Batavia. Hence the native designation of such an inferior 
individual as s. particulier saja, "only" a private person. 

^ Recho or rejo is the name given to any sort of statue. 


As neither they nor the others bothered about 
noting where they got this or that piece of sculpture, 
we are entirely at sea concerning the meaning of 
several beautiful statues. This is the case, e.g., 
with one of remarkably fine execution, a crowned 
goddess, sitting on a lotus cushion and encircled by 
a flaming aureole, pressing her hands to her bosom. 
She has been fortunate enough to escape the fate 
of some deities who shared her sequestration and 
were left to the care of the convicts detailed to keep 
the Resident's compound in trim, a duty performed 
by whitewashing or daubing them with a grayish 
substance, excepting the hair of the head, the eye- 
brows, the eyeballs and the prabka, which the 
gentlemen-artists of the chain-gang are in the habit 
of painting black, enhancing the general effect by 
" restoring" lost hands and feet and damaged faces 
after methods nothing short of barbarous, but there- 
fore the better in keeping with the traditional atti- 
tude of those in authority. For this infamous dis- 
figuration and desecration, which makes any one 
unaccustomed to Dutch East Indian processes 
shudder with horror, never disturbed the aesthetic 
sense or equanimity of the several occupants of the 
residency who, during the last thirty-five years, saw 
it going on under their very eyes, the eyes of the 
representatives of a Government lavish in circulars ^ 
recommending the country's antiquities to their 
care. Neither are those eyes shocked by the 

1 From circulus, circle, something round, which rolls easily away into 
oblivion as it is intended to ; but, if nothing else, la folie circulaire keeps the 
fiction of governmental guidance and control alive. 


"museum" adjoining the residency, a jumble of 
plunder from chandis far and near ; nor by the 
chaotic mass of torsos, arms and legs, fragmentary 
evidence of wholesale spoliation behind that pitiful 
exhibition of archaeology turned topsyturvy. 

So much for the statuary removed from the 
chandis, as far as it can be traced. Concerning the 
chandis themselves, it should be remembered that 
the greater part has wholly disappeared. Hillocks, 
overspread with brushwood, sometimes awaken hopes 
that by digging foundations and portions of walls may 
be discovered ; heaps of debris, tenanted by lizards 
and snakes, point to structures of which nothing 
that is left, indicates the former use ; shattered 
ornamental stones speak of magnificent buildings 
fallen or pulled down — glimmerings of splendour 
that was. The temples still standing are reduced 
to ruins and diminish almost visibly in attractive- 
ness and size. Rouffaer^ gave an interesting ex- 
ample of their fate in the story of the spiriting 
away of the chandi Darawati : in 1 889 tolerably 
well preserved, though two large statues of the 
Buddha had been dragged off to the dwelling of a 
European in the dessa Gedaren, it was gone in 1894 
— vanished into air! The temples constructed of 
brick, like the chandi Abang, have suffered even 
more, of course, than those of stone, the memory of 
whose grandeur is retained in a few ghastly wrecks. 
Reserving the Buddhist remains for later treatment 

1 Speaking at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of the Netherlands, 
December 27, 1902. 


and passing by the Sivaite caves with rectangular 
porches in the Bagelen, mentioned by Fergusson, 
I shall deal here with the chandis Suku and Cheto, 
and the most noteworthy ruins in the southern 
mountains. The latter comprise the kraton of Ratu 
Boko, Mboq Loro Jonggrang's father, as the natives 
call it, and the temple group of the Gunoong Ijo. 
Of the legendary kingly residence little more is left 
than a square terrace with portions of a wall and 
the sill of a gate. The chandi Ijo consists of a 
large temple of the usual polygonal form with ten 
smaller ones and a pit which contained two stone 
receptacles and strips of gold-leaf with the image 
of a deity and an inscription ; the buildings are in 
a sad condition, but decay has not impaired their 
beauteous dignity and the landscape alone repays 
a visit to Soro Gedoog, an estate whose gradual 
reclamation of the jungle led to their discovery in 
1886 when ground was cleared for an extension of 
the plantations. 

The chandis Suku and Cheto are situated 
respectively on the western and northern slope of 
the Gunoong Lawu, a volcano on the boundary 
between Surakarta and Madioon, not less expressive 
in its scenery of what heaven has done for this 
delicious island. Shortly after the mysterious 
pyramids of Suku had drawn the attention of 
Resident Johnson, in the British Interregnum, 
Thomas Horsfield visited them and made some 
drawings. The inscriptions and the sculptured 
ornament of Cheto were reported upon by C. J. 


van der Vlis, in 1842. The groups belong to the 
latest, most decadent period of Hindu architecture 
in Java and their foundation, Suku being a few 
years older than Cheto, must have coincided with 
the introduction of the Islam. Bondowoso, the son 
of the recluse Damar Moyo, who assisted the King of 
Pengging against Ratu Boko and took such signal 
revenge upon the latter's daughter, Loro Jonggrang, 
for rejecting him, the uncouth slayer of her father, 
is supposed to have erected the buildings at Suku. 
Those at Cheto owe their origin to a prince of 
Mojopahit, who quarrelled with his brother, the 
ruler of that empire, or, according to another 
legend, to a certain Kiahi Patiro, who refused to 
become a convert to the new faith and repaired to 
the Lawu, where he lived as a hermit and was killed 
by Pragiwongso, an emissary of the Moslim King 
of Demak. Ltng-a-worship returned in the temple 
groups of the Lawu to its crudest modes of expres- 
sion, and Fergusson, who mentions the dates 1435 
and 1440, speaks of a degraded form of the Vishnuite 
religion, the garuda^ the boar, the tortoise, etc., 
being of frequent occurrence in the ornamentation. 
Junghuhn described the staircases he found, which 
connected the terraces, and the statues, which hardly 
came up to the artistic standard of Prambanan and 
the Boro Budoor, one of them distinguishing itself 
by a colossal head whose measurement from chin 
to crown was three feet, half of the whole height. 
Comparing his description with the actual state of 

' Vishnu's vahana or bearer, the monster-bird. 


things, much must have been removed, heaven 
knows whither ! Notwithstanding the obvious truth 
of Fergusson's remark that a proper illustration of 
Suku and Cheto, and, I may be permitted to add, 
of the remains on the summit of the mountain, 
whether originally tree-temples or consecrated to 
devotional exercises in the open, a I'instar of West 
Java, promises to be of great importance to the 
history of architecture in the island, very little has 
been done in that direction or even for the conserva- 
tion of the ruins where recAo-hunters and a luxurious 
vegetation vie in obliterating the traces of most 
interesting antiquities. Junghuhn sounded a note 
of warning apropos of the falling in of the peculiarly 
constructed pyramidal temple, May 1838, but this 
and the other monuments have been suffered since, 
as before, to crumble quietly away and the easily 
removable sculpture to be carried off Ganesa, in 
his manifold reproductions, seconds on the Lawu 
his father Siva, head of the Trimoorti, continuing 
the lead obtained seven centuries earlier in the 
plain of Prambanan, and a systematic study of the 
reliefs, now covered with moss and lichens, might 
shed a good deal of light on several unsettled 
questions. One of those reliefs, blending the human 
and the divine in the manner of the allusions to the 
Brata Yuda on the Dieng plateau and the Rama 
legend on the walls of the chandi Loro Jonggrang, 
represents a complete armoury, with Ganesa, pro- 
tector of arts and crafts, between the armourer 
himself and his assistant who works the bellows. 


If, with Rouffaer, we divide the long era during 
which the Hindus, first as immigrants and then as 
rulers, merged gradually in the aboriginal popula- 
tion, into a Hindu-Javanese period of Central Java 
and a Javanese-Hindu period of East Java, the 
monuments of Suku and Cheto belong evidently 
to the epoch of Javanese- Hindu decline, decadent 
art flowing back to its classical source, tarnishing 
original Hindu - Javanese conceptions. Leaving 
Buddhist architecture to be dealt with in the last 
chapters, and before turning to the chandis of East 
Java, a short historical review may aid in the 
appreciation of this decline and subsequent paralysis 
of the creative faculty. Kartikeya, the god of war, 
a younger son of Siva and Parvati, had his strong 
hand in this, and how he invested and divested 
mighty princes, who conquered or were defeated 
and finally passed away, causing the rise and fall 
of glorious kingdoms, is written in the babads, the 
Javanese chronicles, by no means such old wives' 
tales as Dominee Valentijn tried to make them out, 
but containing in their extravagance a kernel of 
stern reality, not the less explanatory of the condition 
of the fairy island Java because the magnanimes 
mensonges of a vivid imagination animate the dull 

Of the Hindu empire Mataram in Central Java 
nothing tangible is left except the ruins referred to, 
a few objects in metal and stone, accidentally un- 
earthed or dug up by treasure-seekers, and some 
inscriptions, title-deeds, etc., the scanty "genuine 


charters of Java " as van Limburg Brouwer defined 
them. The name Mataram has been preserved on 
a copper plate, dating from about 900, which agrees 
in this respect with four other records, discovered 
in East Java; the capital of the Maharaja i 
Mataram is called Medang. For two centuries, 
from the beginning of the eighth until the beginning 
of the tenth, Mataram seems to have flourished as 
the most powerful state in the island, especially 
aggressive towards the east. Native tradition, in 
fond exaggeration of her importance, makes her 
sway the destinies of the world. Her star waned 
suddenly ; by what cause is unknown ; but whether 
it was the invasion of a mightier enemy or a natural 
catastrophe, the same as that which overtook the 
builders of the Dieng and the plain of Prambanan, 
forcing them to leave their work unfinished, ancient 
Mataram sank into insignificance. From the middle 
of the tenth until the beginning of the sixteenth 
century, the successors of her former eastern vassals, 
that is whichever of them happened to be on top in 
the continual struggle for supremacy, did in East and 
Central Java as they pleased, warring, intermarrying, 
annexing their neighbours' domains, only to lose 
them again and their own kingdoms to boot, to 
usurpers, ambitious ministers, popular governors 
of provinces, enterprising condottieri or mere 
adventurers favoured by Dame Fortune. In that 
overflowing arena of high rivalry, dynasties suc- 
ceeding one another with amazing rapidity, Daha, 
situated in what is now Kediri, secured paramount 


influence after Kahuripan, situated in what is now 
Southern Surabaya; then Tumapel, situated in 
what is now Pasuruan, became ascendant ; then 
Daha once more and, last of the great Hindu 
empires, Mojopahit, about 1300, to be overthrown, 
after two centuries of preponderance, by the sword 
of Islam. Jayabaya, King of Daha, from about 
1 1 30 till about 1 160, has been called-' the Charle- 
magne of Java, in whose reign learning and letters 
were encouraged ; or the Javanese King Arthur, 
whose life among his heroes, in peace and war, is 
reflected in the idylls of the Panj'i-cycXe, at whose 
Court the famous poet Mpu Sedah began his version 
of the Mahabharata, the Brata Yuda, finished by 
Mpu Panulooh, author of the Gatotkachasraya, 
while Tanakoong wrote the Wretta-Sansaya, a sort 
of Epistola de Arte Poetica. When Tumapel ex- 
panded, especially under Ken Angrok, troublous 
times arrived for Daha, which could hardly hold 
her own against the encroachments of that un- 
scrupulous monarch. Ken Angrok or Arok, born 
in 1 182 at Singosari, had seized the royal power 
after assassinating the old King in 1222 or 1223. 
The kris he used, had been ordered expressly for 
that deed from the famous armourer Mpu Gandring, 
who was its first victim because he tarried in 
delivering it, the tempering of the steel having 
taken more time than suited the usurper's patience. 
Dying under the murderous stroke, Mpu Gandring 
uttered a prophetic curse : This kris will kill Ken 

> By G. P. RouFFAER, Indische Gids, February 1903. 


Angrok ; it will kill his children and grandchildren ; 
it will kill seven kings. The prophecy came true 
with wonderful exactness. Ken Angrok having 
married Dedes, the widow of the old King he had 
despatched, was himself killed as the third victim 
of Mpu Gandring's kris in the hand of a bravo 
commissioned by their son Anusapati, the Hamlet 
of Javanese history. And how blood followed blood 
during the hundred years of Tumapel's hegemony, 
how Ken Angrok's descendants harassed their 
neighbours before the curse took effect upon each 
of them, appearing like luminous stars in the sky of 
politics and war, and then disappearing behind the 
shadowy cloud of untimely death, is it not written 
in the Pararaton or Book of the Kings of Tumapel 
and Mojopahit ? 

The foundation of Mojopahit has been attributed 
to scions of several royal families, among them to 
Raden Tanduran, a prince of Pajajaran in West Java 
which, it will be remembered, owed its origin to 
princes of Tumapel. The most widely accepted 
reading is, however, that a certain Raden Wijaya, 
commander of the army of King Kertanegara, 
great-grandson of Ken Angrok, profiting from his 
master's quarrels with Jaya Katong, ruler of Daha 
in those days, carved out a kingdom for himself, 
reclaiming, always with that end in view, a large 
area of wild/land, Mojo Lengko or Mojo Lengu, 
near Tarik in Wirosobo, the present Mojokerto. 
King Kertanegara who, by branding the Chinese 
envoy Meng Ki, had stirred up trouble with the 


Flowery Empire, was unable to punish this act of 
arrogance, and his violent death in a battle won by 
the legions of Daha, meant the inglorious end of 
Tumapel. This happened in 1 292 and the expedi- 
tionary force sent from China to chastise him 
for his ungracious treatment of ambassadors to 
his Court, consequently found their object accom- 
plished or, more correctly speaking, unaccomplish- 
able when landing in 1293. But its leader indemni- 
fied his martial ardour by entering the service of 
Raden Wijaya who, with his assistance, subjugated 
Daha, which had tried to reassume her former 
precedence. Firmly established on the throne of 
the realm he had fashioned out of Daha, Tumapel 
and his own territory near Tarik, he refused, 
however, to pay the price stipulated by his Chinese 
ally and when the auxiliary troops asked the fulfil- 
ment of his promises, arms in hand, he proved to 
them that superior strength is the ultimate arbiter 
of right and sent them home much diminished in 
numbers and pride. The Emperor of China, wroth 
that the beautiful princesses of Tumapel, daughters 
of the late King Kertanegara, whom he had deigned 
to accept as concubines, were not forthcoming, but 
stayed behind to adorn the harem of the self-made 
King of Mojopahit, ordered his unsuccessful gen- 
eralissimo to be flogged by way of example to 
other commanding officers. Raden Wijaya who, 
with the kingly title, had assumed the name of 
Kertarajasa, enjoyed his royal dignity only until 
1295 and his ashes were entombed in two places not 


yet located : in the' dalem (the inner, private part) 
of his palace conformably to the Buddhist, and at 
Simping conformably to the Sivaite ritual, not 
otherwise than King Kertanegara received last 
honours in the guise of Siva-Buddha at Singosari 
and in the guise of a Dhyani Buddha at Sakala, 
and the remains of King Kertarajasa's successor 
were interred in three places according to the 
Vishnuite ritual, circumstances from which we 
may conclude that in East as in Central Java the 
different creeds lived together in most amiable 

The kris of Mpu Gandring might limit the 
earthly term of the descendants of Ken Angrok, it 
could not check their prowess while they were still 
up and doing. Overlords of East and Central Java, 
extending their rule to Pajajaran, they even looked for 
conquest to the other islands of the Malay Archi- 
pelago. Under Hayam Wurook or Rajasa Nagara, 
in the latter half of the fourteenth century, 
Mojopahit reached her zenith; a record of 1389 
mentions Bali as being tributary since about 1 340 ; 
Aru, Palembang and Menangkabau in Sumatra, 
Pahang with Tumanik in Malacca, Tanjong Pura in 
Borneo, Dompo in Soombawa, Ceram and the 
Goram islands acknowledged Nayam Wurook's 
suzerainty too. Seeing no more worlds to subdue, 
he died and, as in the case of Alexander the Great, 
his empire fell to pieces ; in East Java itself 
Balambangan seceded from Mojopahit proper and 
the Muhammadan propaganda, fanning discord 


between the Hindu princes of old and new dynasties, 
prepared their common doom. The beginnings of 
the Islam in East Java have already been spoken of, 
with Gresik as a missionary centre, Maulana Malik 
Ibrahim as the first wall in that region and the 
conversion into Moslim vassal states of the de- 
pendencies of Mojopahit, whose princes, combining 
under the auspices of Demak against their liege 
lord, sealed his fate. Raden Patah of Demak was a 
man of war and destiny. The fire of the new faith 
burning fiercely within him, he hurled his defiance 
at the stronghold of the heathen, speaking to the 
last King of Mojopahit, his father or grandfather 
according to tradition, as Amaziah, King of Juda, 
spoke to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, 
King of Israel : Come, let us see one another in 
the face, — but with a different result : the challenger 
from Demak came out victorious and Mojopahit 
ceased to exist, an issue fraught with grave 
consequences. This occurred about the year 1500^ 
and Raden Patah, pursuing the royal family on their 
flight, defeated the King or one of his sons again 
at Malang, where a last stand was made. But Gajah 
Mada, the Prime Minister of Mojopahit, founded a 
new empire, Supit Urang, which comprised much 
of the territory once belonging to Singosari. The 
Saivas also held out at Pasuruan, which was invested 
by Pangeran Tranggana, a successor of Raden Patah, 
but after his assassination by one of his servants, 

1 The fall of Mojopahit has been put at 1478 (Javanese chronicles), 1488 
(VETH's/awffi, 2nd ed.) and between 1515 and 1521 (Rouffaer). 


the troops of Detnak returned home. Pasuruan and 
Surabaya reverted, later on, to the Regent of 
Madura, a son-in-law of Pangeran Tranggana. Yet, 
Hinduism lingered on in the island ; its political 
power was only broken with the conquest of 
Balambangan by the East India Company in 1767, 
and the population of the Tengger mountain i-egion 
did not commence to accept the Islam until very 

In the confusion which resulted after the death of 
Pangeran Tranggana from the disruption of his 
domains into Cheribon, Jayakarta and Bantam in 
the western, Gresik and Kediri in the eastern, and 
Demak proper and Pajang in the central part of the 
island, the latter territory absorbed Jipang and its 
Prince Tingkir, a scion of the royal family of 
Mojopahit, was proclaimed Sooltan by the spiritual 
authority of Gresik, the first time we find that title 
mentioned in the history of Java. Sooltan Tingkir 
appointed one of his trusted servants, Kiahi Ageng 
Pamanahan, governor of the tract of land which had 
preserved the name of Mataram. Kiahi Ageng 
Pamanahan improved the condition of the people 
and his son Suta Wijaya, who had married a 
daughter of the Sooltan, making himself independent 
by rebelling, by poisoning his father-in-law after 
his having been captured and pardoned, finally by 
taking possession of the regalia in the subsequent 
war of succession, became master of the situation 
and laid in New Mataram the foundation of another 
state which, in the reign of his successor Ageng, 


1613-1646, gained the ascendency over the rest 
of Java with Madura, subjugating even Sukadana 
in West Borneo. Not, however, without strenuous 
exertion for Balambangan gave a good deal of 
trouble in the East and the conquest of Sumedang 
in the West, in 1626, taxed the military strength 
of the rising empire to its utmost. When the East 
India Company began to make its influence felt, 
Moslim solidarity proved a valuable asset as, for 
instance, in the relations with Bantam and Cheribon, 
whose Pangeran proposed the title of Susuhunan 
for Ageng (1625) before Mecca promoted him to the 
Sooltanate (1630). In 1628 and 1629 he ventured 
to attack Batavia, the new settlement of the Dutch, 
but had to retire and, what was even worse, by 
provoking those upstart strangers, he damaged his 
trade : they closed the channels of export to 
Malacca and other foreign ports of rice, the 
principal produce of the land. " Mataram must now 
become our friend," wrote the Governor-General 
to his masters, the Honourable Seventeen, and, 
indeed, Mangku Rat I., Ageng's son, found himself 
obliged to sign a treaty of friendship with the 
Company — a dangerous friendship ! Differences 
between their " friend " and Bantam with Cheribon 
were sedulously fostered by the authorities at 
Batavia ; the Company took a hand in the putting 
down of disturbances created in East Java by 
Taruna Jaya of Madura and Kraeng Galesoong of 
Macassar ; the Company patronised and protected 
the reigning Sooltans, who moved their residence 


from Karta to Kartasura, against pretenders and 
exacted payment in land, privileges, concessions, 
monopolies, etc., shamelessly in excess of the real or 
pretended assistance afforded in quelling purposely 
manufactured anarchy — precisely as we see it happen 
nowadays wherever western civilisation offers her 
"disinterested" services to eastern countries of 
promising complexion for exploitation by western 

Mataram, trying to escape from the extortionate 
friendship of the honey-tongued strangers at Batavia, 
whose thirst for gold seemed unquenchable, has its 
counterparts in benighted regions now being 
" civilised " after the time-honoured recipe : interfer- 
ence which upsets peace and order, more interfer- 
ence to restore peace and order with the naturally 
opposite result, occupation until peace and order 
will be restored, gradual annexation. The East 
India Company's mean spirit of haggling was held 
in utter contempt by the native princes, grands 
seigneurs in thought and action, too proud to pay 
the hucksters with their own coin, though bad 
forebodings must have filled the mind, for instance, 
of Susuhunan Puger, recognised at Batavia as 
Mataram's figurehead under the name of Paku 
Buwono I.,^ when near his capital a Dutch fort was 
built and garrisoned with Dutch soldiers to back 
him in his exactions for the benefit of alien usurers 
and sharpers. Like the rat of Ganesa, they pene- 

' Paku Buwono, like Paku Alam, means "nail which fastens the 


trated everywhere and the tale of their relations to 
the lords of the land is one of tortuous insinuation 
until they had firmly established themselves and 
could give the rein to their sordid commercialism 
in always more exorbitant claims. Paku Buwono 
II., feeling his end approach, was prevailed upon, in 
1749, to bequeath his realm to the Company, but 
one of the most influential members of the imperial 
family decided that this was carrying it a little too 
far: Mangku Bumi,^ brother of Paku Buwono II., 
supported by Mas Said, son of the exiled Mangku 
Negara,^ and other pangerans (princes of the blood), 
stood up in arms to defend their country's rights 
and inflicted severe losses on the Dutch troops in 
stubborn guerrilla warfare. This led to the parti- 
tion of Mataram between Paku Buwono III. and 
his uncle Mangku Bumi, both acknowledging the 
supremacy of the Company, the latter settling at 
Jogjakarta, the old capital Karta, under the title 
and name of Sooltan Mangku Buwono,^ while Mas 
Said, who did not cease hostilities before 1757, 
gained also a quasi-independent position as Pangeran 
Adipati Mangku Negara, which in 1796 became 
hereditary. With three reigning princes for one, 
the power of Mataram was definitely broken and 
Batavia assumed the direction of her affairs quite 
openly, the " thundering field-marshal " Daendels 

• Lit. "the one who has the world in his lap," i.e. the supporter (ruler) 
of the world. 

^ Lit. "the one who has the empire in his lap," i.e. the supporter (ruler) 
of the empire. 

" Lit. "the one who has the universe in his lap," i.e. the supporter 
(ruler) of the universe. 


emphasising her state of decline and the British 
Interregnum bringing no change. 

In 1825 the divided remnant of Mataram, viz. 
Surakarta with the Mangku Negaran and Jogjakarta 
with the Paku Alaman,^ was deeply stirred by 
Pangeran Anta Wiria calling upon his compatriots 
to chase the oppressors away. Born from a woman 
of low descent among the wives of Mangku 
Buwono III., Sooltan of Jogjakarta, it seems that, 
nevertheless, hopes of his succession to the throne 
had been held out to him when he assisted his 
father against the machinations of his grandfather, 
Sooltan Sepooh (Mangku Buwono II.), banished by 
Raffles in 181 2. However this may be, he resented 
the settlement of the Sooltanate on the death of 
Mangku Buwono III. upon Jarot, an infant son, 
and other circumstances adding to his dislike of 
Dutch control, he raised the standard of revolt. 
The Javanese responded with alacrity to an appeal 
which bore good tidings of delivery as the wind, 
ridden by the Maroots who make the mountains to 
tremble and tear the forest into pieces, bears good 
tidings of coming rain to a parched earth. Anta 
Wiria, under his more popular name of Dipo Negoro, 
and his lieutenants Ali Bassa Prawira Dirja, or 
Sentot, and Kiahi Maja, gave the Dutch troops 
plenty of bloody work in the five years during 
which the Java war lasted, 1825-1830. It was the 
last eruption on a large scale of the fire imprisoned in 

' A fourth semi-independent domain, created at the expense of Jogjakarta 
for the benefit of Pangeran Nata Kusuma, ally of the British during the 
troubles of 1811 and 18 12. 


the native's heart, the last sustained effort at regain- 
ing his independence, crushed by the white man's 
superiority in military appliances, but occasional 
throbbings, ruffling the surface as in Bantam (1888), 
the Preanger Regencies (1902), Kediri (1910), etc., 
show that the volcano is by no means an extin- 
guished one. Though " kingdoms are shrunk to pro- 
vinces and chains clank over sceptred cities," the love 
of liberty, laid by as a sword which eats into itself, 
does not own foreign dominion, and the native 
princes, especially the Susuhunan of Surakarta and 
the Sooltan of Jogjakarta, remain objects of worship- 
ful homage. Their genealogy remounts to the gods 
whose essence took substance in the illustrious 
prophet Adam who begat Abil and Kabil on the 
goddess Kawa ; the history of their house begins 
with the arrival in the island, in the Javanese 
year i, of Aji Soko ; they are the panatagama 
and sayidin {shah ad-din), directors and leaders 
of religion ; their Courts set the fashion in 
high native society, Solo^ being more gay and 
extravagant, Jogja^ more sedate and solid, as a 
writer at the end of the eighteenth century already 

The Dutch Government recognises the imperial 
or royal dignity of Susuhunan and Sooltan by the 
superior position of its Residents in the capitals of 

' Common abbreviations, in speaking and writing, of Surakarta and 
Jogjakarta ; Solo is, to put it correctly, the name of the place where Paku 
Buwono II., after his old kraton had been destroyed by fire in the civil 
war diligently fostered by the Company, built the present one, Surakarta 
Hadiningrat, i.e. the most excellent city of heroes. 


their Principalities, who, directly responsible to the 
Governor-General, correspond in rank to the general 
officers of the army, while the administrative heads 
of the other residencies have to content themselves 
with the honours due to a colonel ; also by the 
institution of dragoon body-guards whose ostensibly 
ornamental presence can be and has been turned to 
good account when the mental intoxication arising 
from meditation on gilded disgrace, charged with 
the lightning of passion, produces effects irreconcil- 
able with the fiction that all is for the best in this 
best of worlds. With the Government steadily 
encroaching on the native princes' ancient rights, 
bitterness grows apace and irritation at the recoiling 
weight of bondage lives on, though colonial reports 
represent it as dead. Truly, in the three centuries 
during which it pleased Kuwera, the fat god of 
wealth, to inspire the strangers from the West, rich 
in promise but slow in performance, exacting and 
pitiless, to deeds of unprincipled rapacity, the people 
have learned to hide their thoughts that worse may 
not follow, hoping that time will set things right. 
But as everything points more clearly to the fixed 
purpose of the Dutch Government to avail them- 
selves of every pretext for swallowing the Princi- 
palities as all the rest has been gobbled up, there 
are those who cherish the memory of Dipo Negoro 
and consider the necessity of new man-offerings : 
the greater the need, the greater must be the 
propitiation. On the whole, however, better counsel 
prevails, deliverance being sought on planes of 


mystic exercise, silent submission being practised 
in expectation of the consummation of a higher 
will, and this is the native's secret as he repeats 
the lessons inculcated in the Wulang Reh, the 
treatise on ethics written by one of the eminent of 
the past, Sunan Paku Buwono IV. : May ye imitate 
our ancestors, who were endowed with supernatural 
strength, and may ye qualify for penitence, heeding 
closely the perfection of life ; this is my prayer for 
my children ; be it granted ! Meanwhile taxation 
increases, but who can object to that when in days 
of old the good people had to pay for the privilege 
of looking at the public dancers, whether they cared 
to look at them or not ; when compulsory contribu- 
tions to the exchequer were levied upon one-eyed 
persons for their being so much better off than the 
totally blind ; etc. . . . Fancy a Minister of Finance 
in Holland defending a vexatious new assessment 
on the ground of arbitrary cesses in the Middle 
Ages ! 

Hindu art had lost its vitality when the second 
empire of Mataram arose in Central Java and the 
cult of the ideal was effected by modernising currents 
from the eastern part of the island. Sanskrit, as the 
vehicle of thought in Venggi and Nagari characters, 
made place for Kawi which, related in its oldest 
forms to Pali and in its symbols to the Indian 
alphabets, evolved soon afterward into a specific 
Javanese type. Sivaite literature paved the way 
for the Manik Maya, the Bandoong, the Aji Saka, 
the Panj'i- and the Menak- or Hamsa-cycX^s, the 


Damar Wulan; as to Buddhist literature, Burnouf's 
comment upon its inferiority holds also good for 
Java : no trace exists even of a life of the Buddha, 
oi jataka-X.a\&s, except such as have originated in 
the eastern kingdoms at a comparatively late date. 
Literary culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries was a continuation of and throve on the 
efforts of the great authors hospitably entertained 
at the Courts of Mojopahit and Kediri. The 
Javanese language with the wealth of words it 
acquired and the diversity of expression it 
developed,^ exercised and still exercises in its 
four dialects^ a vivifying influence upon the 
Soondanese speech in the west and the Madurese 

■" Ngoko is spoken among the common people, among children, by adults to 
children and by those of superior to those of inferior rank ; kromo by those of 
inferior to those of superior rank and by people of high rank amongst them- 
selves unless differences in social degree or grades of relationship require 
another mode of address ; dagellan or gendaloongan (in Surakarta) and madya 
(in Jogjakarta), a mixture of ngoko and kromo, by people of equal rank con- 
versing in an unofficial capacity, politely but without constraint, by those of 
superior to those of inferior rank, their seniors in years whom they wish to 
honour, by merchants of equal rank and the higher servants of the nobility to 
one another ; kromo-inggil comprises a group of words used when referring to 
whatever is divine or very exalted on earth ; basa kedaton is the language of 
the Court, spoken by all males in the presence of the reigning prince or in his 
kraton whether he be present or not, but in addressing him or his heir pre- 
sumptive, kromo is used ; the reigning prince employs ngoko interspersed with 
kromo-inggil words when referring to himself; the women in the kraton speak 
kromo or kromo-madya among themselves, basa kedaton to such men-folk as 
they are allowed to see and kromo to the reigning prince or his heir presump- 
tive ; ngoko andap is a coarse sort of speech which descends to the use of words, 
in relation to man, ordinarily applied only to animals; kromo-dessa means 
rustic speech in general. 

^ The central and most refined Javanese of Mataram or Surakarta, spoken 
in the Principalities, the Kadu, the Bagelen, Madioon and Kediri ; the western 
Javanese, spoken in Cheribon and Banyumas ; the basa or temhoong fasasir 
(speech of the coast), spoken in Tagal, Pekalongan, Samarang, Yapara and 
Rembang ; the eastern Javanese, spoken in Surabaya, Pasuruan, Probolinggo 
and Besuki. 


in the east. Its script, like the people who speak 
and write it, and cling to their hadat, the manners 
and customs of the jaman buda, which, notwith- 
standing their Islamitic veneer, they prefer tp the 
law of the Prophet, — its script rejects Moslim inter- 
ference and refuses to employ the Arabic charac- 
ters, sticking to its equally beautiful aksaras and 
pasangans. Religions succeeding one another, 
generally without discourteous haste, Muham- 
madanism penetrated Central Java but slowly from 
the north, first by the conversion of the great and 
mighty who profited by the example of Mojopahit, 
then by grafting the idea of the one righteous god 
upon the godless Buddhist or pantheistic Hindu 
creed of the orang kechil, the man of slight import- 
ance who, up to this day, though fervent in his 
outward duties as a Moslim, shows in every act 
that his individual and national temperament is 
rooted in pre- Islamic idiosyncrasies. The heroes 
of the Brata Yuda and Ramayana are just as dear 
to him as the pre-Islamic saints whose legends are 
gathered in the story of Raja Pirangon and the 
Kitab Ambia, as the forerunners, companions and 
helpers of the Apostle of God. 

The sacred waringin, never wanting in the aloon 
aloon, the open places before the dwellings of the 
rulers of the land and their deputies, what is it but 
the bo-tree, the tree of enlightenment? One of 
venerable age in the imperial burial-ground of 
Pasar Gedeh, planted, according to tradition, by 
Kiahi Ageng Pamanahan or his son Suta Wijaya, 


announces without fail the demise of a member of 
one of the reigning families either at Solo or at 
Jogja, by shedding one of its branches. Pasar 
Gedeh, Selo and Imogiri are silent spots, peopled 
with the dead whose lives' strength made history 
and is mourned as the strength of a glorious past. 
Selo, an enclave belonging to Surakarta, in Grobogan, 
residency Samarang, contains the ancestral tombs 
of the rulers of Mataram ; Imogiri and Pasar Gedeh 
in Jogjakarta, which latter marks the site of the 
original seat of empire and was comparatively 
recently put to its present use, are the cemeteries 
common to the royalty of both Principalities, and 
guarded by officials, amat dalam with the title of 
Raden Tumenggoong, appointed by mutual consent. 
A Polynesian bias to ancestor-worship, unabated by 
Hinduism, Buddhism and Muhammadanism, accounts 
for the almost idolatrous adoration ^ of the graves of 
the Susuhunans and Sooltans, their ancestors and 
also their progeny that did not attain to thrones, 
receptacles of once imperial dust, feeding the four 
elements from which it proceeded and to which it 
returns like meaner human clay. Look, says Kumala 
in the Buddhist parable, all in the world must perish ! 
The religious brethren of his faith used to repair at 
night to the sepulchres of those taken to bliss and 
spend the lone hours in pondering on the instability 
of conscious existence, desiring to gain the Nir- 
vana by their undisturbed meditations, but Sivaite 

1 A cult with a ritual handed down from the past and scrupulously observed. 
Cf. the account of a visit to Selo in 1849, published from papers left by Dr. 
M. W. SCHELTBMA, in De Gids, December, 1909. 


associations people the old graveyards of Java with 
raksasasy monstrous giants, eaters of living and 
dead men and women, and santons, bent on prayer 
amid the last abodes of the departed, have been 
terrified, especially at Pasar Gedeh, by weird noises 
and apparitions signalling their approach, com- 
mending hasty retreat to the wise. It is advisable 
'to distrust darkness there and rather to choose the 
day for acts of devotion, even if annoyed by world- 
lings who come to consult the big white tortoise in 
the tank, ancient Kiahi Duda, widower of Mboq 
Loro Kuning, presaging the better luck the farther 
he paddles forth from his subaqueous habitation. 
At a little distance is the sela gilang, a bluish stone 
with a more than half effaced inscription, only the 
lettering of the border being legible. Tradition 
calls it the dampar (throne) of Suta Wijaya, sitting 
on which he killed Kiahi Ageng Mangir, his rival 
and owner of the miraculous lance Kiahi Baru, who 
had been lured into his presence by one of his 
daughters to do homage by means of the ujoong, 
the kissing ^ of the knee ; near by are a stone mortar 
and large stone cannon-balls, the largest possessing 
the faculty of granting untold wealth to those strong 
enough to carry it three times without stopping 
round the sela gilang, whose legend, carved by a 

' The Javanese do not kiss in the disgusting, unwholesome, western fashion ; 
they smell or sniff, using the olfactory instead of the osculatory organs, as 
sufBciently indicated by the words of the native vocabulary describing the 
operation referred to. In this matter again, the Hindu immigrants may have 
made their influence felt. Cf. Professor E. Washburn Hopkins' interesting 
paper on The Sniff- Kiss in Ancient India, in the Journal of the American 
Oriental Society, vol. xxviii., first half, 1907. 


prisoner of war, either a spirit of the air or a 
magician, reveals in its marginal commentary a 
philosophic mind coupled with linguistic talents : 
zoo gaat de wereld — cost va il mondo — ita movet tuus 
mundus — ainsi va le monde. 

Selo, Imogiri and Pasar Gedeh : so goes the 
world indeed, and the nameless prisoner of war's 
motto, preserved near the pasarahan dalam, the 
imperial garden of rest, would be hardly less 
appropriate over the gates leading to the kratons, 
the residences ^ of the Susuhunan of Surakarta and 
the Sooltan of Jogjakarta, where they do the grand 
in the grand old way, cherishing the memories of a 
power gone by. A visit to the Principalities with- 
out an invitation to attend some function at Court 
cannot be called complete and it is a treat to watch 
the ceremonial exercises connected with one of the 
three garebegs ^ or with the salutations on imperial 
birthdays and coronation-days in the voomy pendopos, 
the open halls whose general style betrays its 
Hindu origin no less than the aspect, the dresses, 
the movements of the native nobility, officials and 
retainers, an assemblage of a fairy tale, betray their 
Hindu parentage. The bangsal kenckono, the 

^ Including, besides the palaces and palace grounds, thickly inhabited little 
towns. The kraton of Surakarta contains, e.g. , more than ten thousand people, 
all belonging to the imperial family and household, from the princes to their 
dependents, servants and hangers on : court dignitaries, court functionaries, gold- 
and silversmiths, wood-carvers, carpenters, masons, musicians, etc. Within its 
walls is also the imperial mesdjid, a fine, large building with a widely visible 
gilt roof. 

^ The garebeg mulood, garebeg puasa and garebeg besar, corresponding with 
the maulid (feast of the Prophet's birth), id al-fitr (feast of breaking the fast) 
and id al-qorban (feast of the sacrifice), 


audience-chamber of the Sooltan at Jogja, is a 
masterpiece of construction in wood, the carved 
beams and joists, richly gilt and painted in bright 
colours, forming a ceiling of wonderful airiness and 
elegance ; in the bangsal witono the Sooltan shows 
himself to the people on days of great gala ; in the 
bangsal kemandoongan, a hall in one of the many 
open squares of the palace grounds, seated on his 
dampar or throne, he used to witness the execution 
of his subjects sentenced to death, who were krissed ^ 
against the opposite wall ; another of these open 
squares was dedicated to pleasures which remind 
of the munera gladiatoria, more especially of the 
ludi funebres, and kindred amusements with a good 
deal of local colour : we find it chronicled of 
Sunan Mangku Rat I., Java's Nero, that once 
he beguiled a tedious afternoon in his kraton at 
Kartasura by stripping a hundred young women 
and letting a few tigers loose among them. The 
dining-hall {gedong manis : room of sweets) in the 
kraton at Jogja, to the south of the audience- 
chamber, can easily hold three hundred guests with 
the host of servants they require; at Solo the 
imperial stables and coach-houses^ are scarcely 

1 KrUsing, a form of capital punishment until recently still in use in the 
island of Bali, consisted in driving a kris to the heart of the condemned man, 
sometimes under circumstances of refined cruelty, the executioner not being 
permitted to put an end to his victim's agony before the prince, presiding in 
person or by deputy, had given the signal for the coup de grSce. 

^ A story is told of a Susuhunan of Surakarta having ordered a magnificent 
landau from one of the first carrossiers in Paris, that the favoured industrial 
was advised to send some cooking-pans with it on delivery. Asking : What 
for ? he got the answer : To poach the eggs his Highness' chickens will lay 
in your carriage. Splendour and squalor live near together in the households 
of thriftless oriental potentates. 


inferior in interest to the friend of horses, riding, 
driving and coaching, than the Kaiserlich-Konigliche 
Marstall at Vienna or the Caballerizas Reales at 
Aranjuez. But of all the sights at the Courts of 
the Principalities of Central Java it is the human 
element that fascinates most, a waving mass of 
silent figures in the magnificent setting which 
reflects centuries of Sturm und Drang, the new to 
the visitor's eye being nothing but the very, very 
old ; men taught by fate to treasure their thoughts 
up in their hearts, as their mountains do the hidden 
fire, worshipping tempu dahulu, sustained by I' amour 
du bon vieulx terns, 1! amour antique, even the rising 
generation remaining apparently unaffected by the 
example ; of western fickleness, an inconstancy ever 
more pronounced since the illustrious citizen of 
Florence, of the Porta San Piera, commented on it : 

Cfie I' uso de' mortali I come fronda 
In ramo, che sen va, ed altra viene?- 

The country-seats of Susuhunans and Sooltans, 
where they sought repose from cares of state, often 
contained temples erected, if not in the name then 
in the spirit of their kind of sacrifice, to Kama, the 
god of love, smuggled into the practice of a later 
creed. They had no wish to become the victims 
of their virtue like the excellent King Suvarnavarna ; 
they did not aspire to the fame accruing to Rama in 
his relations to the female demon Shoorpanakha, 

^ For usage with mortal man is like the leaf 
On the bough, which goes and another comes. 



personification of sublunar temptations. And the 
manifold functions assigned to water in their 
pleasances, to the limpid, running water of the cool 
mountain rills, are characteristic of an island where 
a bath, at least twice a day, preferably in the open, 
is both a necessity and a luxury which the poorest 
does not dream of denying himself. Observe the 
crowds of men, women and children, always chaste 
and decent, disporting themselves in lakes and rivers, 
every morning and every evening ; note the names 
of Pikataan, Kali Bening, Banyu Biru, idyllic spots 
and equal to the classic chandi Pengilon, Sidamookti 
and Wanasari to the lover of a plunge and a swim, 
screened by flowers and foliage, with the blue heaven 
smiling on his joy. Passing by Ambar Winangoon 
and Ambar Rookma, the remains of the so-called 
water-castle at Jogjakarta convey some notion of the 
manner in which royal personages sought recreation, 
amusing themselves in their parks of delight, fragrant 
and tranquil like the restful Loombini, where Maya 
gave birth to the Buddha ; toying with their women 
in and round the crystalline fluid. An abundant 
spring within the boundaries of the palace grounds 
led to the conception of this retreat or, rather, these 
retreats, for there were two, connected by a system 
of canals which speaks highly for native hydraulics, 
though the buildings erected to obey a capricious 
will, show in their present ruinous state how archi- 
tecture had degraded since the Hindu period, its 
flimsy productions being unable to withstand the 
first serious earthquake. Of Pulu Gedong, to the 


northeast of the aloon aloon kidool, nothing is left 
but crumbling portions of the walls which jealously 
guarded the privacy of the Sooltan's watersports. 
Of Taman Sari and Taman Ledok, situated in the 
western part of the kraton, a good deal is still 
recognisable, especially the structures on Pulu 
Kenanga in the largest of the artificial lakes which 
are now dry ground, the one here meant being 
incorporated into a kampong, one of the several 
groups of native dwellings inhabited by the Sooltan's 
numerous retainers. The whilom islands convey 
in quite a picturesque way the lesson that human 
works must die like the hands that fashioned 

The building of the " water - castle ", whose 
pavilions, artificial lakes, tanks and gardens spread 
over an area of about twenty-five acres, was begun 
in 1758 by a Buginese architect under the orders 
of Mangku Buwono I., a great raiser of edifices, as 
Nicolaas Hartingh^ wrote in 1761, and maker of 
" fountains, grotto- work and conduits which, though 
completed, he orders immediately to be pulled down, 
not finding them to his taste, thus squandering some 
little money." We possess a description^ of the 
kraton at Jogjakarta, dated September 1791, from 
the hand of Carl Friedrich Reimer,* who speaks of 

1 Governor and Director of Java's northeast coast, afterwards member of 
the Governor-General's Council at Batavia. 

* Published by H. D. H. Bosboom from papers in the Dutch National 

' Titular Major, afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel of the Corps of Engineers, 
Director of Fortifications and Inspector of Canals, Dams, Dikes and 


"a collection of gardens, fish-ponds and pleasure- 
pools." He probably visited Pulu Gedong before 
proceeding to Taman Sari^ and expatiates on the 
spaciousness of the dwelling room in Pulu Kananga, 
where it seems that the Court could find plenty 
of accommodation. But what made the greatest 
impression on the expert in hydraulics was the 
arrangement of passages and an apartment for 
prayer and meditation under water, as if the Sooltan 
deemed it an advantage to worship surrounded 
by the babbling stream, light and fresh air being 
provided through turrets rising above the surface. 
In the place called Oombool Winangoon, situated 
on a low level, with three tanks, fed from the great 
lake of Taman Sari, was a cool retreat where the 
Sooltan used to rest a while after his bath, refreshing 
himself with a cup of tea. Alluding to the Sumoor 
Gumuling, Reimer remarks that the architect must 
have chosen a round form for his structure to make 
it the better resist the pressure of the water all 
round. The strange building which went by that 
name and consisted of two concentric walls with a 
flat roof,^ taken for a subaqueous house of prayer 
by the visitor of 1791, has also been very differently 
explained : some see in its remains a dancing-school, 
awakening visions of the Sooltan's corps de ballet 
practising in the first storey to the dulcet tones of the 

■■ Reimer's description leaves Taman Ledok in dubio and a reason for his 
probable non-admittance there, may be found in the circumstance that it 
appears to have been the part of the pleasance reserved for the recreation oi 
the Sooltan's concubines. 

° Whence the name: oombool, like sumoor, means "well" or "spring", 
3xA gumuling, derived Itam guling, means "rolled up", "lying flat." 


gamelan, the native orchestra, that ascended from the 
basement and aided them in going through their 
paces ; others connect it with functions never referred 
to in polite society and which have nothing in common 
with praying, either with the heart or with the feet, 
more correctly speaking : with the arms, hands and 
hips, for Javanese dancing is no loose skipping and 
hopping about, but a graceful and expressive play 
of the body and more particularly of the upper limbs 
in rhythmic, undulating motion. Passing from one 
lake to the next, the Sooltan's means of conveyance 
was ^&prahu Niahi Kuning, a gorgeously decorated 
barge, given to him by the East India Company ; 
other boats, plying between Taman Sari and Taman 
Ledok, were at the disposal of the ladies of the 
royal household desirous of an outing with their 
babies ; two small skiffs left their moorings every 
night alternately, at a signal given on a bendeh, to 
feed the fishes, which knew the sound and assembled 
in shoals. The guard-rooms near the northern 
Watergate, of which the remaining one, i.e. the 
one not altogether fallen into ruin, shelters in 
the morning a motley crowd of sellers of fruit, 
vegetables, sweetmeats, etc., witnesses to the 
Company's dragoons, protecting and shadowing 
their Highnesses of Surakarta and Jogjakarta with 
the princes of their blood, already having been 
entrusted with that task in the days of Mangku 
Buwono I. 

Of the delicately carved woodwork hardly a trace 
remains, but some foliage and birds among flowers, 


executed in stucco, give evidence of a good taste 
which knew how to make old motives subservient 
to new requirements. Though a Muhammadan 
pleasance, designed by a Muhammadan architect for 
a Muhammadan prince, th&garuda over one of the 
entrances, the Banaspatis on gables and fronts in 
Taman Sari and Taman Ledok, the nagas coping 
the balustrades of the staircases, show that Hindu 
conceptions continued to leaven Javanese art. The 
relations with China and the consequent influx of 
Chinamen have also borne their fruit in Central 
Java as in Cheribon and the eastern kingdoms : 
Reimer informs us that the galleries and tops (now 
gone) of the several buildings were constructed like 
pointed vaults, and were wrought " in the manner 
of Chinese roofs " ; Pulu Gedong was famous for 
the lofty Chinese tower erected near the spring 
which furnished the water for the " castle ", its lakes, 
ponds, tanks and canals, and for the irrigation of its 
grounds. The orchards, renowned for their mangoes 
and pine-apples, the vegetable-, sirih- and flower- 
gardens had a great reputation in the land ; assiduous 
attention was paid to horticulture on the principle, 
well understood by oriental gardeners, that flower- 
beds, ornamental groves and bowers are like women ; 
that however much art and pains are bestowed on 
their make-up, the art of arts is the concealment 
thereof. . . . Writing this it occurs to me how pro- 
perly a western version of that universally approved 
maxim has been put in the mouth of Gdrtnerinnen, 
niedlich and galant : 




Denn das Naturell der Frauen 
1st so nah mil Kunst verwandty 

Though Mangku Buwono I, was a contemporary 
of Goethe, his knowledge of Faust is extremely 
doubtful, but being an artist in his own way, he 
took care that the natural scenery, assisted by art, 
should contribute to a pleasant general impression 
in the distribution of the dwellings for his retinue : 
native princes (and of his rank too !) do not move an 
inch inside or outside their kratons without number- 
less attendants at their heels. In the "water- 
castle" were apartments, not only for the Sooltan, 
for the Ratu, his first legitimate spouse, for his other 
wives and concubines, for the little family they had 
presented him with, but for the dignitaries of his 
Court, officials of all degrees, secretaries, servants 
of every description, various artificers from the 
armourers down to the kebon kumukoos, the makers 
of tali api (fire-rope), necessary for lighting his 
Highness' cigars. There were reception-, dining-, 
living- and sleeping-rooms for the Sooltan, his Ratu 
and female relatives, each apart ; common rooms for 
the selir (wives of lower degree) ; rooms for the 
instruction of their children ; rooms where his 
Highness' daughters spent a few hours every day in 
batikking; guard-rooms for the. prajurits, the male 
guards ; guard-rooms for the female guards under 
command of the Niahi Tumanggoong, a lady of 
consequence, who kept and keeps the dalam, the 

' For nature in woman 
Is so near akin to art. 


interior of the kraton, under constant observation so 
that no illicit amourettes shall occur in the women's 
quarters, and yet — ! There were store-rooms, 
kitchens, workshops, prisons, halls set apart for the 
dancers, male and female ; the cream of the female 
dancers, the srimpis and girl bedoyos, were probably 
housed in or near the principal pavilion on Pulu 
Kananga, of which the Sooltan occupied the eastern 
and the Ratu the western portion. Above all there 
were the bath-rooms, dedicated to Kama and his 
wife Rati of Hindu memory ; and since the parrot 
is the vahana of that frivolous god, many are the 
unspeakable tales of revived rites of his luxurious 

The etiquette at Court is fitly illustrated by the 
two tea-houses of Taman Sari, the eastern one for 
the Grand Pourer-out-of-Tea of the Right, who 
presided over the preparation of the delectable 
beverage for the Sooltan, and the western ditto for 
the Grand Pourer-out-of-Tea of the Left, who pro- 
vided for the Ratu. A scrupulous punctilio is in- 
grained in Javanese habits and customs, from high 
to low, on great and small occasions, the native's 
mentality always reverting to things which were, 
but never more can be. The homage done to 
sacred objects, arms, g-ame/ans, etc., by giving them a 
human name and a title,^ venerating them as if en- 

' Kiahi is a very common one. Dr. J. Groneman, whose description of 
the water-castle at Jogjakarta contains a good many interesting particulars, 
mentions the name of the barge of state, presented to Paku Buwono I. by the 
East India Company, Niahi Kuning, as, to his knowledge, the only instance 
of a female appellation being given to royal paraphernalia — perhaps on the 
same principle as that which makes us, too, speak of a ship as of a "she "- 


dowed with supernatural faculties, recalls Polynesian 
fetishism, Hinduism being blended with it in Siva's 
trishula, Vishnu's chakra, etc., which are still carried 
behind the native princes among their ampilan} 
The upacharas or imperial and royal pusakas^ are 
treated with the utmost reverence when shown at 
the appearance in public of Susuhunan or Sooltan, 
and their bearers, the koncho ngampil, who hold an 
honoured position at the Courts of Solo and Jogja, 
may be considered direct successors of the envoys 
of King Dasharatha on the reliefs of the ckandi 
Loro Jonggrang, who bore his regalia when meet- 
ing Rama and Lakshama, The strange ceremonial, 
preserved from the time when gods walked amongst 
men, seems hardly antiquated, on the contrary very 
germane to siti-inggiP surroundings. One ' need 
not visit the kratons though, to notice how the spirit 
of the past permeates all things Javanese ; any well- 
dressed native getting out of his sado * at the railway 
station or repairing thither on foot for a journey 
with the fire-carriage, will do. Even if he cannot 
afford the few doits^ necessary and must impair his 

^ Emblems of royalty ; more strictly : objects of virtu belonging to the 
reigning family. 

^ k.pusaka is an heirloom, generally with luck bringing properties either to 
the rightful owner or to any one who secures possession of it. 

^ Lit. " the high place " of the /Jj-aiow. 

* Short for dos-h-dos, a kind of vehicle naturalised in Java ; offering 
only problematic comfort at its very best, the ramshackle specimens plying 
for hire in the streets of the capital towns of the island, beat everything ever 
invented anywhere else in the world for inflicting torture on the pretext of 

° Doits are copper coins of endless variety, demonetised more than half 
a century ago but still used by the natives almost exclusively and to the 
prejudice of the legal "cent", the hundredth part of the "guilder" or legal 
unit of the Dutch East Indian currency, notwithstanding the Government's 


dignity by going afoot, he has his retainers to look 
after his box and, stuck behind, he has his magnificent 
kris in a sheath of gold, with a beautifully carved 
ivory handle, in nine cases out of ten a pusaka, 
cherished like the kris Kolo Munyang of the Prince 
of Kudoos or, as others allege, of a Susuhunan of 
Surakarta, who sent the weapon, which killed its 
master's enemies without human direction, to the 
assistance of Pangeran Bintoro, then oppressed by a 
king of Mojopahit. The chronology of this legend 
is evidently a little faulty, but, O ! the wonders 
of Java's golden age, and, O! the superstitious 
honour in which their memory is held by these 
lovable people, whose actual existence is a dream of 
days gone by. And that happy dream, they ween, 
is a presage of the future, prophesying the restora- 
tion of their fathers' heritage. If, nevertheless, the 
hour draws near of unconditional surrender, the 
Dutch Government steadily and surely arrogating 
to itself the externals with the substance of power 
in the Principalities, they will silently submit to the 
nivarana of their ancient faith, the hindrance arising 
from torpor of mind appointed to them in the 
sansara, the rotary sequence of the world, and seek 
consolation in the promise of their new faith that 
the Lord will not deal wrongly with his servants. 
The life of nations, like the life of men, starts 
running as the mountain torrent and meets many 

efforts (on paper) through the medium of financial geniuses, whose name is 
Legion and whose practical performance is Nihil, to put the monetary system 
and colonial finance in general on a firm, workable basis. 


an obstacle before it swells to a broad river in the 
plains and flows tranquilly and mightily to the sea ; 
also for Java it is written : 

. . . Non anche, 
r opra del secol non anche b piena.^ 

' . . . Not yet, the work of (our) time has not yet reached its fullness. 



cosi da 1' ossa dei sepoiti cantano 
i germi de la vita e degli spiriti. ^ 

Giosui: Carducci, Odi Barbara {Canto di marzo). 

When, suddenly, for reasons still unknown, the 
classic period of art in Central Java closed, about 850 
Saka (a.d. 928), East Java awakened and entered on 
an era of artistic activity in every direction, which 
lasted until the fall of Mojopahit six centuries and a 
half later. In architecture it offers nothing so grand 
and imposing as the ancient temples of the Middle 
Empire, but much more diversity, and numerous in- 
scriptions, resembling, after 900 Saka (a.d. 978), in 
form and contents, what we possess of old Javanese 
literature, enable us in many cases to determine 
the dates and also the character of the chandis, 
found principally along the course of the Brantas 
in the residencies Pasuruan, Kediri and Surabaya. 
Moving eastward, it was there that Hindu civilisa- 

^ So from the bones of those inhumed sing 
The germs of life and of the spirits. 



tion made greatest progress, no more in the 
vigorous enthusiasm of a young faith eager to 
proselyte, but modified by and finally succumbing 
to the influences of the soil, the climate, the 
idiosyncrasies of the aborigines. The oldest dates 
(Madioon, Kediri, Surabaya and Pasuruan) fall 
between 890 and 1 140 ; then we have a good many 
again from Kediri (i 120-1240 and 1270-1460) and 
from Surabaya (1270-1490); also from Pasuruan, 
Proboliriggo and Besuki (i 340-1 470), Madura 
(1290-1440) and Rembang (1370-1390) ; finally, the 
constructive energy returning to Central Java, from 
Samarang and Surakarta (1420-1460), Suku and 
Cheto bringing up the rear. In the palmy days of 
Daha and Tumapel a sort of transition style was 
elaborated ; under Ken Angrok and his descendants 
on the throne of Mojopahit, East Java reached its 
architectural zenith, never equal in the grandeur of 
its conceptions to the Boro Budoor or even the 
Prambanan temples, to the symmetrical richness of 
the Mendoot, but making up in fantastic decoration 
what it had lost in sobriety of outline. The builders 
pandered to the unwholesome demand for that 
perfection at any cost which Ruskin censures as the 
main mistake of the Renaissance in its early stages, 
the workman losing his soul in exchange for 
consummate finish. But, though they bear the 
impress of decadence, the products of eastern 
Javanese constructive efforts are not wholly 
degenerate, never coarse or vulgar and well worth 
looking at from more than one point of view. The 


evolution of the ornament alone is exceedingly 
suggestive : the " recalcitrant spiral " which in 
Central Java ascends, decking the supports, topples, 
as it were, in East Java, losing its character and 
becoming a meaningless adornment of the case- 
ments of, e.g., the chandi Panataran ; the kah-heads 
remain but the makaras change into a flame-like 
embellishment ; where they are altogether dissolved, 
as in the chandi Jago or Toompang, it is safe to 
conclude with Dr. Brandes to late eastern Javanese 

It has been conjectured that the migration of 
Hinduism to East Java was the effect of Buddhism 
gaining ground in the central part of the island ; 
that the pronounced Sivaite tendencies of Mojo- 
pahit were a reaction against Buddhist innova- 
tions. But it remains still to be proved that 
Mojopahit, though worshipping Siva as the supreme 
god of the Trimoorti, adhered to his overlord- 
ship in all its orthodox purity. There are, on 
the contrary, indications of Vishnuite leanings, of 
Buddhist heresy, of a syncretism no less pronounced 
than that of Prambanan and the Mendoot. In the 
time of Old Mataram's hegemony. Buddhism must 
have ingratiated itself to some extent with her 
eastern vassals and, though not one of the temples 
in East Java is Buddhist after the fashion of the 
chandis Boro Budoor, Mendoot and Sewu, vestiges 
of the Bhagavat's doctrine are undeniable in Kediri, 

' Cf. Miss Martine Tonnet's article in the Bulletin of the Dutch 
Archaeological Society, 1908, on the work of the Archaeological Commission. 


Southern Surabaya and Northern Pasuruan, A 
fusion of Sivaism and Buddhism has continuously 
controlled the construction of the larger temples 
of the later eastern Javanese period, says Rouffaer. 
Statues found in many places, e.g. in the chandi 
Toompang, are distinctly Buddhist and, what is 
most remarkable, though of later workmanship than 
those of Central Java and of a different style, tainted 
by decadent methods, they possess high merits as 
works of art. In their Sivaitic surroundings they 
confirm the statements of the Chinese traveller 
Hiuen Tsiang who, perambulating India between 
629 and 645, before the persecution of the Buddhists 
commenced, remarked upon the tolerance of the 
brahmins and vice versa, a virtue the Hindus carried 
with them to Java as already observed in the chapter 
on Prambanan. The kings of Mojopahit followed 
the example set in those regions : they were 
Saivas, Vaishnavas, Buddhists or followers of no 
one creed in particular, ready to protect and prefer 
each of them according to circumstances. In codes 
of law and poetry, Sivaite priests and sugatas, pious 
brethren on the Buddhist road to perfection, are 
mentioned in one breath as conductors of the 
religious exercises on festive occasions, invoking the 
blessings of heaven on harvests and enterprises of 
peace and war ; the poet Tantular calls the Buddha 
one with the Trimoorti.^ 

The Muhammadans were not so indulgent when 

1 Cf. Professor J. H. C. Kern's paper on Sivaism and Buddhism in Java 
apropos of the old Javanese poem Sutasoma, Amsterdam, 1888. 


the Pangerans of Giri increased in authority as 
spiritual leaders of their faith, successors of Maulana 
Ibrahim, its first apostle in East Java, The hillock 
of Giri became a centre of incitement to the holy- 
war, particularly so under Raden Ratu Paku or 
Sunan Prabu Satmoto, whose tomb is still an object 
of Moslim pilgrimage.^ With his approval, if not 
on his instigation, the Muhammadan states on 
the north coast combined under Raden Patah of 
Demak to compass the extermination of heathenism 
and he lived to see the overthrow of Mojopahit, 
though dying shortly afterwards. If the Moslemin 
yearned to gain Paradise, sword in hand, martyrs 
for their Prophet's dispensation, those of the old 
creed remembered the power of their gods, blowing 
the sanka, the war-shell of Vishnu, who proved to 
Sugriva and Hanoman his superiority over Wali by 
shooting his arrow through seven palm-trunks ; who, 
in his fourth avatar, as narasinka, the man-lion, 
ripped open the belly of the sacrilegious demon 
Hiranya Kasipu. But Raden Patah, marching with 
his allies, marvellously helped in the way of the 
Lord against the idolaters of Mojopahit, the 
swollen with pride, proved to be the giant in the 
shape of a dwarf, Vamana, known from their god's 
fifth avatar, conqueror of the three worlds. And 
Mojopahit, so great that the claims to the honour 
of her foundation, forwarded by as many princely 

' The Pangerans of Giri continued for almost two centuries to exercise their 
spiritual authority, opposing the supremacy of the Princes of New Mataram 
until the Susuhunan Mangku Buwono II. had the last of them assassinated 
with all the male members of his family (1680). 


houses as existed in those days, were fused in the 
tradition of her divine origin, her capital with its 
hundred gates and shining streets and palaces, the 
like of which had never been seen, having sprung from 
the earth in one night as a flower at the call of the 
fragrant dawn, — Mojopahit was overthrown and, 
laments the Javanese chronicle, the prosperity of the 
island disappeared. Not the last but the strongest 
bulwark of Hinduism had ceased to exist, bearing 
bitter fruit ^ of presumptuous pride indeed ; the 
later Hindu empires, even Balambangan, which 
gave so much trouble to New Mataram and sub- 
mitted only to the arms of the East India Company, 
leaving the ancient creed to die of slow exhaustion 
in the Tengger mountains, were nothing compared 
to her. 

Like the remains, near the dessa Galang, of the 
kraton of the kings of the older empire of Daha, 
what has escaped total destruction of the capital of 
Mojopahit is constructed of brick. The ruins are 
situated about eight miles to the southwest of 
Mojokerto ^ in the valley of the Brantas ; near 
Ngoomplak was the site of a royal residence in the 
building of which stone seems also to have been 
used. Raffles, visiting those heaps of debris scattered 
over quite a large area, found but scanty evidence 
of the fact that he trod the spot where great rulers 
had employed great architects, raising great structures 
for posterity to remember their great deeds by ; 

• J/iyo means " fruit ", ^o^«V means '^bitter''. 
^ Kerto vaesxis "shining, glittering"- 


Wardenaar, whom he had taken with him as a 
draughtsman, might have stayed at Batavia, though 
in his History of Java he gives an illustration of 
" one of the gateways " and says that the marks of 
former grandeur there are more manifest than at 
Pajajaran, which, well considered, is saying very 
little. Now, a century later, a century of continued 
neglect, the general impression is still less calculated 
to prompt a vision of heroes subjecting thrones and 
dominions in the short space left them by their 
ancestor Ken Angrok's murderous kris, defying 
the grave, unmindful of Mpu Gandring's curse. 
Walking round in an effort to fit the scenery to 
historical dramas of love, hate and ambition, extreme 
care is necessary to avoid stepping on snakes coiled 
in dangerous repose or crawling among the brickbats 
which represent the foundations of princely mansions, 
digesting their last meal or hungry after the lizards 
that move restlessly in and out of chinks and 
crannies, lively beasties, enjoying the sunshine until 
snapped up, far more interesting really than the 
piles of rubbish bearing meaningless names. The 
natives one meets, will spin yarns ad libitum anent 
the numerous graves and crumbling substructures, 
but few have an intelligible tale to tell. Here are 
portions of the city-wall ; there the remnant of the 
gate Bajang Ratu ; half a mile farther the aloon 
aloon, the taman or pleasance, the tanks for bathing. 
A road, in great need of repair, leads through the 
Trowulan, the interior ; exterior roads may be taken 
through ricefields and teak-plantations to the tomb 


of Ratu Champa, distinguished by curtains which 
once may have been white. Before a small building, 
enclosed by a fence, lies a stone supposed to cover 
the entrance to a subterranean apartment, the hiding- 
place, it is said, of the last king of Mojopahit when 
his capital was taken by the Moslim enemy. More 
graves surround that cache, graves without and, to 
intimate the pre-eminent importance of the elect thus 
honoured, graves with dirty curtains, narrow strips 
of soiled cloth, sad offerings to the dead sovereigns 
of an empire of celestial fame. One feels almost 
inclined to refuse credence to the grand past this 
ragged display tries to commemorate and, from sheer 
disappointment, to join the ranks of the sceptics 
who doubt of the capital of Mojopahit ever having 
amounted to much, and maintain that, in any case, 
it had come down and was of no consequence 
compared with Tuban and Gresik, already in 141 6, 
a century before its falling into the hands of the 

At Mojopahit it is the same old story of quarrying 
for building material : several sugar-mills in the 
neighbourhood with the dwellings of managers and 
employees, have been wholly or partly constructed 
of Mojopahit bricks. In 1887 I saw them used for 
the abutments of bridges, foremen of the Department 
of Public Works superintending. A short time 
before, twelve coppe^ plates had been found with 
inscriptions in ancient characters, which disappeared 
in a mysterious way. The rechos of Mojopahit 
were mostly left alone, a respectful treatment they 


owed to their general clumsiness. Some two or 
three miles from the ruins of the capital, a goodly 
number stand or lie together fair samples of statuary 
of the first eastern Javanese period, in its extravagance 
and exaggeration a travesty of the classic art of 
Central Java, crudity of conception floundering in 
a redundancy of form also observable at the chandis 
Suku and Cheto ; after the fall of Mojopahit, in 
the second period, the sculptor reverted to a close 
study of nature as manifested at the chandis Toom- 
pang and Panataran ; in the third, Hindu methods 
getting crowded within ever narrower limits, his 
fancy betrayed him again into lavish detail as 
exemplified in old Balinese imagery. At the gradual 
extinction of Hindu ideals of beauty, realised in 
decaying stone and brick, in statues defaced and 
vanishing like dwindling phantoms, a growing sensa- 
tion of emptiness, emphasised by vague reminiscences 
of the artistic fullness of the Jaman buda, claiming 
amends from succeeding creeds, received little from 
Islam and absolutely nothing from Christianity. 
Under Dutch rule very few attempts at style in 
Java and the other islands of the Malay Archipelago 
have been made at all, and of these few only one 
has resulted in an achievement not altogether 
ridiculous, namely the old town-hall, begun in 1707 
and finished in 1710, of old Batavia, where the 
Resident has his office, by the natives very appro- 
priately called rumah bichara, i.e. "house of talk". 
With one or two utterly tasteless exceptions, the 
rest of the Government and private buildings, 


including the palaces of the Governor-General at 
Weltevreden and Buitenzorg, descend in their archi- 
tecture to the lowest grade of the commonplace. To 
his Excellency's ill-kept country-seat in the Preanger 
subverted Mojopahit seems almost preferable, not- 
withstanding the squalor of its threadbare /^(a!if«^/«w<52^ 
decoration ; the meanness of the viceregal reception- 
and living-rooms at Chipanas is not even picturesque 
and surely some of the public money regularly paid 
out for the maintenance of the " Government hotels " 
might be profitably expended on the improvement 
of the surroundings of Her Majesty the Queen of 
the Netherlands' representative in the Dutch East 
Indies, including the rickety furniture, shabby 
napery, etc., which has a pitiful tale of unseemly 
parsimony to tell : the superiority of high rank 
needs decorum and nowhere more than in oriental 
countries, a truth lately too much lost sight of by 
officials, high and low, who, following the example 
set at Buitenzorg, hoarding against the hour of their 
demission, presume on their "prestige" without 
anything to back it. 

Mojopahit had ceased to exist and the Muham- 
madans with the Christians in their wake overran 
Java, despoiling the land in which toleration and 
art could no more flourish, but dissension throve as 
the tree prophetically imaged at the Boro Budoor, 
whose branches bear swords and daggers instead of 
wholesome, luscious fruit. The old quarrels over 
political supremacy were surpassed in violence by 
religious strife, and fanaticism is still held responsible 


in our day for disturbances conveniently ascribed 
to Moslim cussedness when the acknowledgment of 
the real cause, discontent born from over-taxation, 
would be tantamount to a confession of administrative 
impotence. It was not Hanoman, the deliverer of 
Sita, who troubled the repose of Ravana's garden, 
but the raksasas and raksasis who kept her in bonds, 
and there are two solutions of the Dutch East Indian 
problem, independent of the issue celebrated in the 
Ramayana and both suggested in the ornament of 
Java's temples : the devourer Time destroying all 
with his sharp teeth, and the lion, or tiger, to 
preserve the local colour, master of the fleeting 
moment, with a garland of flowers in his mouth, 
image of the clouded present holding out the promise 
of a brighter future. The two auguries, dark yet 
hopeful, belong to one old order of ideas, prefiguring 
things to come in dubious language, after the wont 
of oracles, ancient and modern, and we can choose 
the forecast which likes us best. So did the princes 
of Daha, Tumapel and Mojopahit, not to mention 
the lesser fry, creatures of a breath as we deem 
them now, doughty warriors and far-seeing states- 
men to their contemporaries, who consulted their 
soothsayers before treading the fields of fame and 
blood whence they were carried to their graves, 
admiring nations rearing the mausoleums which 
now constitute the greater part of the historic 
monuments of East Java. The Pararaton mentions 
no fewer than seventy - three structures of that 
description. Such as have been left are, for various 


reasons, hard to classify, the greatest difficulty 
arising from their bad state of preservation, though 
deciphered dates furnish important clues, for instance 
regarding some chandis in Kediri : Papoh (1301), 
Tagal Sari (1309), Kali Chilik (1349), Panataran 
(1319-1375),^ the last named being probably the 
principal tomb of the dynasty of Mojopahit, Spring- 
ing from the soil in amazing dissimilitude, their 
architects seeking new modes of expression in new 
forms and never hesitating at any oddity, at any 
audacity to proclaim the message of artistic freedom 
from convention, they struggled free from the sober 
lines and harmonious distribution of spaces always 
maintained in Central Java, to run riot in fantastic 
innovations. Yet, they held communion with nature 
and neither shirked their responsibility nor sinned 
against the proper relations between their purpose 
and the visible consummation of their task as those 
of our modern master-builders do who contrive 
churches like barns or cattle-sheds, stables like 
gothic chapels, prisons like halls of fame and cottages 
like mediaeval donjons. From such architectural 
absurdities it is pleasant to turn, e.g., to the chandi 
Papoh, a temple whose corner-shrines might pass 
for daintily wrought golden reliquaries inlaid with 
jewels, when the minute detail of their exquisite 
decoration is shone upon by the setting sun ; or to 

^ These dates are taken from Miss Martine Tonnbt's paper in the 
Bulletin of the Dutch Archaeological Society already cited, where she calls 
attention to the ardent religious life in that region at that time, as also attested 
to by the zodiac-beakers, mostly unearthed in Kediri and bearing dates between 
1321 and 1369. 


the chandi Sangrahan, when warmed to life from 
death and fearful decay, by the blue of a measureless 
sky, again budding from the earth, lovely as the 
lotus in the bliss bestowing hand of one of the five 
finely chiselled but headless statues near by. 

Holiness in East Java, as everywhere in the 
island, took naturally to bathing. The retreat 
Bookti in the district Rembes, set apart for that 
pastime, according to the legend by Semu Mangaran, 
first king of Ngarawan (the later Bowerno and still 
later Rembang), had and has many rivals, nearly all 
in possession of antiquities to show their sacred 
character and the regard in which they were held. 
Some, like Bookti and Banyu Biru, the deservedly 
popular " blue water " of Pasuruan, are enlivened by 
colonies of monkeys, descendants of the apes kept 
there in Hindu times, beggars by profession, whose 
antics reap a rich reward. Sarangan in Madioon, 
Trawulan and Jalatoondain Surabaya, Jati Kuwoong 
and Panataran in Kediri, Ngaglik and Balahan in 
Pasuruan, shared in olden times the renown which 
now is principally divided between Banyu Biru and 
Wendit, not to forget Oombulan, delightful spots, 
typical of a land where life is a continuous caress. 
Ngaglik has a beautiful female statue, evidently 
destined to do service as a fountain-figure after the 
manner of the nymphs which grace John the 
Fleming's^ Fontana del Nettuno in Bologna and 
countless other waterworks of his and the succeeding 

' More generally known as Giovanni da Bologna, though a native of 


period. Wendit has Sivaite remains : the prime 
god's nandi, statues of Doorga, Ganesa, etc. ; most 
of the lingas and yonis that used to keep them 
company as reminders of their inmost nature, have 
been carried off. Banyu Biru has a statue of 
Doorga, raksasas, fragments of Banaspatis, etc., and 
a very remarkable image of Ganesa with female 
aspect, an object of veneration, especially on Friday 
evenings when flowers and copper, even silver coins 
are strewn round to propitiate his dual spirit, candles 
are lighted and sweetmeats offered to the ancient 
deities taken collectively. The chandis Jalatoonda 
and Putri Jawa served a double purpose : devotion 
and ablution, facilities for an invigorating bath 
playing a prominent part. The former, in the 
district Mojokerto, residency Surabaya, is the 
mausoleum of King Udayana, father of King 
Erlangga, and one of the oldest monuments in East 
Java ; the latter, in the district Pandakan, residency 
Pasuruan, has much in common, as to ornament, 
with the chandi Surawana of the year 1365 and 
belongs on the contrary to the younger products 
of Hindu architecture. Chandi Putri Jawa means 
" temple of the Javanese princesses ", and Ratu 
Kenya, the Virgin Queen of Mojopahit (1328-1353), 
who spoiled her reputation for chastity by losing 
her heart to a groom in her stables and making him 
share her throne, as the Damar Wulan informs us, 
may have repaired thither with her ladies-in-waiting 
to sacrifice and disport in the swimming-tank which 
is still replenished with water from the neighbouring 


river, flowing through the cleverly devised conduits ; 
or the women of her luckless last successor, King 
Bra Wijaya, may have taken their pleasure there 
along with their devotional exercises before the 
Moslim torrent swamped their lord and master's 
high estate, harem and all. 

Cave temples have been found in Surabaya 
(Jedoong), in Besuki (Salak) and in Kediri (Jurang 
Limas and Sela Mangleng). The latter, of greatest 
interest and Buddhist in character, can be divided 
into pairs : Sela Baleh and Guwa Tritis, Joonjoong 
and Jajar. They are easily reached from Tuloong 
Agoong and, though the removable statuary is 
gone, except the heavy raksasas, defaced figures on 
pedestals, etc., the sculpture of the interior walls of 
the caves remained in a tolerable'state of preserva- 
tion. Above on the ridge is a spot much resorted 
to for meditation and prayer, where the view of the 
charming valley of the Brantas, bounded by the 
beetling cliffs of the south coast, the treacherous 
Keloot to the northeast and the majestic Wilis ^ to 
the northwest, prepares the soul for communion 
with the Spirit of the Universe. Remains of brick 
structures abound in East Java ; besides the ruins 
of Daha and Mojopahit we have, for instance, the 
walls of the Guwa Tritis under the jutting Gunoong 
Budek, the chandis Ngetos at the foot of the Wilis, 
Kali Chilik near Panataran, Jaboong in Probolinggo 

^ On the summit of the Wilis are four heaps of debris and two enclosed 
terraces ; on its eastern slope is a place of prayer, consisting of three terraces 
with bas-reliefs and called Penampihan, where the natives still congregate for 



and Derma in Pasuruan. The chandi Jaboong 
presents a remarkable instance of tower-construc- 
tion applied to religious buildings in Java as 
further exemplified, conjointly with terraces, in the 
chandi Toompang. The surprises offered by the 
chandi Derma are no less gratifying, firstly to 
travellers in general who visit Bangil and, approach- 
ing the temple, which remains hidden to the last 
moment, suddenly come upon it in an open space 
adapted to full examination ; secondly to archae- 
ologists in particular because, dating from the reign 
of Mpu Sindok (850 Saka or before) and therefore 
one of the oldest monuments in East Java, if not 
the oldest in a recognisable state of preservation, it 
must be accepted as the prototype of Javanese 
architecture bequeathed by Old Mataram and is a 
valuable help to the study of the ancient builders' 
technique, showing, among other things, says Dr. 
Brandes, that the larger ornamental units are of one 
piece of terra-cotta, joined to the masonry by means 
of tenons and mortises. 

About a mile to the southeast of Malang, on the 
top of a hill near the kampong Bureng, are traces 
of more buildings constructed in brick, the ruins 
of Kota Bedah. The foundation of that city is 
attributed to a son of Gajah Mada, chief minister of 
the last king of Mojopahit who, after his master's 
fall, fled eastward and, subjecting Singosari with 
adjoining territories, became the progenitor of the 
dynasty of Supit Urang. The Moslemin pushing 
on and harassing the Saivas wherever met, invested 


Kota Bedah but, not prevailing against the strong 
defence of its commander Ronga Parmana, they 
caught the citizens' pigeons which flew over their 
camp and, attaching pieces of burning match-rope to 
the birds' wings and tail-feathers, they set fire to the 
thatch of the houses within the walls and so gained 
their end. Thereupon they destroyed the royal 
residence Gedondong, to the east of Malang, and 
those of Supit Urang took refuge in the Tengger 
mountains. This is one of several traditions ex- 
plaining the existence of Sivaite remains scattered 
in that neighbourhood : at Dinoyo, Karanglo, 
Singoro, Katu, Pakentan, etc. On the road to 
Toompang stands the chandi Kidal, one of the best 
preserved in Java, only the upper part of the roof 
having fallen down. It is the mausoleum of 
Anusapati, the Hamlet of Javanese history, referred 
to in the preceding chapter, who was killed in 1 249 
by his step-brother. His likeness has been sought 
in an image of Siva, on the supposition that some 
statues of deities there erected, which point to 
the use of living models, represent the features of 
exalted personages. An enormous Banaspati over 
the entrance with smaller ones over the niches, 
garudas and lions form the principal decoration in 
frames of highly finished ornament. Dr. Brandes 
remarks that in contrast to the decoration of the 
temples in Central Java, the heavy ornament of the 
relief-tableaux is here distributed over the parts 
which carry the weight of the superstructure, while 
the lighter ornament finds employment on the 


(Archaeological Service through Chads and van Es.) 


panels and facings. The methods of construction 
and the treatment of details mark clearly a transition 
to the younger period of eastern Javanese archi- 
tecture best illustrated by the chandi Panataran. 

Somewhat older, built in 1278 as a mausoleum 
for Kertanegara, the last king of Tumapel, who 
reigned from 1264 to 1292 and was killed in battle 
by Jaya Katong, King of Daha, is the chandi 
Singosari, near the railway station of that name, an 
excellent starting-point for an ascension of the fire- 
mountain Arjuno or Widadaren. It has been called 
one of the most unfortunate monuments in the 
island ; not, presumably, because it shared the 
common lot, being gradually deprived of its finest 
ornament while its stones were freely disposed of 
for building material without the local authorities 
minding in the least, but because the spoliation 
could be watched by a comparatively large number 
of planters and industrials, settled in the neighbour- 
hood, none of them interfering unless to its detriment. 
Insurmountable difficulties of transportation opposed 
the removal of the colossal raksasas and so they 
were left with a nandi, a sun-carriage and, among 
fragments too defaced for recognition, a Ganesa 
and a female Buddhist saint, for this temple-tomb is 
of a mixed character in its religious aspect. A 
Javanese chronicle relates that Kertanegara was 
buried at Singosari in 1295, three years after his 
death, in the guise of Siva- Buddha, and at Sakala 
conformably to a more pronounced Buddhist rite. 
He was considered a wise ruler, notwithstanding his 


abusive attitude towards China, which had such 
dire results. He built an edifice, continues the 
babad, divided into two parts, the lower one Sivaitic, 
the upper one Buddhistic, because in his life 
he prided himself on being a Saiva as well as 
a Buddhist. A richly ornamented y^a/a-head in 
eastern Javanese style testifies to the admirable 
technique of the builders and decorators. According 
to popular belief a subterranean passage leads from 
Singosari to Polaman, about six miles away, a place 
of sacrifice in Hindu days, and another to Mondoroko, 
close by, the site of a ruin with a graceful statue of 
a female deity, two smaller ones which remind the 
beholder of Siva's and Doorga's creative faculties, 
and sadly damaged bas-reliefs. In 1904 an inscribed 
stone was recovered, at the intimation of a native, 
from a pond near Singosari. Confirming the data 
furnished by the Javanese chronicles, the inscription 
states that in 1351 Gajah Mada, the Prime Minister 
of Mojopahit, acting for Bting Wisnuwardhani, 
founded a temple-tomb, sacred to the memory of 
the priests, Saivas and Buddhists, who, in the year 
1292, had followed their King Kertanegara in death, 
and of the old Prime Minister who had been killed 
at his feet. .... " See here the foundation of the 
most honourable Prime Minister of Java's sea-girt 

Finest and most interesting of the Malang 
complex is the chandi Jago, about twelve miles to 
the east of the capital of the assistant-residency, in 
the aloon aloon of Toompang and hence more 

< X 

I -a 


commonly named chandi Toompang, It was the first 
taken in hand by the Commission appointed in 1901 
and we owe most of the information, summarised in 
the following lines, to Dr. Brandes' reports on this 
archaeological debut. A rare example of tower-con- 
struction of the kind also observed in the chandi 
Jaboong, superposed on a raised level reached by 
terraces like those of the chandis Panataran and 
Boro Budoor, the extraordinary Javanese mixture of 
Sivaism and Buddhism with a dash of Vishnuism 
has affected it to such a degree that even a recent 
description declares it to be a Buddhist pit-temple — 
a contradiction in terms. Begun in the middle of 
the thirteenth century, i.e. in the time of Tumapel's 
political ascendency when Sivaism was the state 
religion, if we may speak of a state religion among 
peoples and princes whose predominant article of 
faith was tolerance and concession of equal rights 
to all religions, some of the learned investigators 
suppose with Professor Speyer that, the Buddhist 
note was a consequence of the persecution of the 
adherents of Gautama's creed in India and the 
hospitality extended to the emigrants all over the 
island Java, However this may be, syncretism 
became rampant in both the ground-plan and the 
decoration of the chandi Toompang, conceived as 
an elevated dodecagonal structure on the highest of 
three irregularly shaped terraces, something quite 
exceptional in Javanese architecture. Apparently 
while the building was in progress, remarks Rouffaer, 
changes were made in the original project, and the 


more is the pity that the temple proper has fallen 
into almost complete ruin : not only that the roof is 
lacking, but the toppling back wall has dragged the 
greater part of the north and south walls down with 
it. The front or west wall has held out to a certain 
extent with the gateway, the chief entrance, a lofty, 
rectangular, monumental passage, ornamented on 
both sides and locked with a key-stone whose smooth 
middle space was destined, in the opinion of Dr. 
Brandes, to receive, but never did receive, the date 
of completion. Heaps of debris round about lead 
to'the conjecture that the whole was encircled by a 
wall of brick and that the dwellings of the keepers 
or officiating priests were composed of the same 

Several of the bas-reliefs fortunately escaped 
destruction and found an interpreter in Dr. Brandes, 
to whom we also owe explanations of the stereotyped 
decorative scrolls and flourishes. Though inferior 
in workmanship to the reliefs of Panataran, those of 
Toompang, "speaking" reliefs as he called them, 
are vigorously animated, gaining in interest to the 
devotee as he ascends the terraces, their masterly 
treatment culminating in what has been preserved 
on the portion still standing of the temple-walls. 
No better illustration of high and low life, of the 
nobility and the riff- raff portrayed in classic Javanese 
literature, could be imagined ; the typical perfect 
knights and sly buffoons are there in crowds, princes 
and courtiers, warriors and peasants, gallivanting 
beaux and love-sick maidens, jealous husbands and 


frisky wives, worldwise sages and babbling fools, 
Javanese Don Quijotes riding out with their trusty 
squires of the Sancho Panza species, go-betweens 
neither better nor worse than Celestina, en- 
tangling dusky Melibeas. Every honourable soul 
is set off by his or her vulgar counterpart, of the 
earth earthy : the panakawan (page) and the inya 
(nurse) play most important r61es, almost equally 
important with those of the hero and heroine, and 
their characters are, conformably to the requirements 
of Javanese literature, clumsy and coarse but droll ; 
their actions, whether they accomplish or fail to 
accomplish their tasks, reflect the performances of 
the born ladies and gentlemen whom they accompany, 
who lose each other and are reunited, who quarrel 
and make up, always in a comely, stately way, 
proud and sensitive, expressing their feelings in 
graceful gestures corresponding with the choicest 
words. When treating of Panataran, the ornamenta- 
tion of the ancient monuments of East Java in its 
relation to Javanese literature will be more fully 
discussed. Here, however, belongs a reference to 
Dr. Brandes' ingenious explanation of the slanting 
stripes or bars, left uncarved at irregular intervals on 
the narrow tiers of bas-reliefs at the chandi Toom- 
pang ; comparing those sculptured bands with the 
lontar^ leaves on which the tales, whose illustration 
they furnish, were originally written, he saw in 
them the finishing strokes of the different chapters. 

1 Borassm flabelliformis of the palm family, which, though hardly used in 
these times of cheap paper as a provider of writing material, serves the natives 
for a hundred other purposes. 



The statuary of the chandi Toompang has been 
removed, for the greater part, to the Museum at 
Batavia and, possibly, one or two images, with 
Professor Reinwardt's invoice of 1820, to that of 
Leyden. The deities are brilliantly executed, of 
idealistic design, to borrow Rouffaer's words, 
exuberant to the point of effeminacy. Some of 
them show the conventional Hindu type and we 
can imagine the wonderful effect they produced 
among the essentially Javanese scenes chiselled on 
the walls. For their inscriptions Nagari characters 
have been used, a circumstance adduced to prove 
the predominant Buddhist significance of this 
temple. The principal statue seems to have been 
the decapitated and otherwise damaged, eight- 
armed,^ colossal Amoghapasa, Lord of the World, 
reproduced by Raffles, including the head, " carried 
to Malang some years ago by a Dutchman," he 
informs us, which, symbolic of unity with Padma- 
pani, displays Amitabha, the Dhyani Buddha of the 
West, the Buddha of Endless Light, in the manner 
of a frontal. The goddess Mamakhi, scarcely less 
beautifully cut and also reproduced by Raffles in his 
History of Java, was carried to England in tota 
by himself. Efforts to trace her whereabouts have 
not met with success ; she remains more securely 
hidden, probably in one of the store-rooms of the 
British Museum, than the stone with inscription 
recording an endowment, transported from Java to 

1 Two of the eight arms were already missing in i8i S to judge from RafHes' 


the grounds of Minto House near Hassendean, 
Scotland. Talking of carrying away : a little to 
the southeast of the chandi Toompang stood a 
temple of which hardly a stone has been left ; a little 
to the south of the chandi Singosari another is 
visibly melting into air. The Chinese community 
at Malang, as Dr. Brandes informed the Batavian 
Society of Arts and Sciences, boast of a permanent 
exhibition of Hindu statuary and ornament, consist- 
ing of more than 160 numbers, gathered together 
in the neighbourhood and on view in their cemetery. 
Baba collects Sivaite and Buddhist antiquities with 
great impartiality, subordinating religious scruples 
to practical considerations, as when he lights his 
long-stemmed pipe at one of the votive candles on 
the altars in his places of worship. Excellent 
opportunities for the study of Chinese influences on 
Javanese art are offered by the decoration of his 
temple in Malang with its motives derived from 
creeping, fluttering, running, pursuing and fleeing 
things : tigers, deer, dragons, bats, especially bats, 
shooting up and down, flitting off, swiftly turning 
back, circling and scudding. The mural paintings 
of a good many other klentengs, too, are of more 
than passing interest since they promote a right 
understanding of the development of the Greater 
Vehicle of the Law, which in Java exchanged 
fancies and notions with both Chinese Buddhism 
and Taoism, discarded the classic for the romantic, 
if the expression be permissible in this connection, 
and still continues to live among the island's 


inhabitants of Mongolian extraction, as Sivaism 
among the Balinese, their creative thought mould- 
ing old fundamental ideas in unexpected new forms. 
If Buddhism brought new elements into Chinese 
art, stimulating ideals and religious imagery, as the 
Count de Soissons remarks,^ leading, for instance, 
to sublime personifications of Mercy, Tenderness 
and Love, the debt is repaid and emigrating 
Chinese decorators shower the graces of their 
benign goddess Kwan Yin on their labours in 
distant climes. As to Java, with which China 
entertained relations from the remotest Hindu 
period, they animated and reshaped in endless 
variation the ornament they found, the makaras, 
the ^a/a-heads, at last, in their sai-shiho tracery, 
being gradually supplanted by the bat-motive. 

The chandi Panataran is the most beautiful, for 
many reasons also the most remarkable temple in 
East Java and, with the exception of the Boro 
Budoor, the largest in the whole island. It was 
discovered by the American explorer Thomas 
Horsfield. Its foundations and the interior of its 
sepulchral pit are constructed in brick ; its terraces 
are in general design not unlike those of the chandi 
Toompang ; among its statues, stolen and scattered 
far and wide, it may have contained images of 
Buddhist purport and inspiration. Sivaitic in 
aspect, however, as it stands now, it is the only one 
of the monuments in Kediri sufficiently preserved 

^ See his article, Pictorial Art in Asia, in the Contemporary Review of 
May, 191 1. 


to determine its religious origin. Fergusson classes 
the chandi Panataran with the tree- and serpent- 
temples whose most peculiar feature in the 
residencies Malang and Kediri consists in having 
" a well-hole in the centre of their upper platform, 
extending apparently to their basement," and the 
suggestion occurring to him "as at all likely to 
meet the case, (is) that they were tree-temples, that 
a sacred tree was planted in these well-holes, either 
in the virgin soil, or that they were wholly or 
partially filled with earth and the tree planted in 
them." He compares the chandi Panataran with 
the Naha Vihara or Temple of the Bo-tree in Ceylon 
and bases its claim to being called a serpent-temple 
on the fact that " the whole of the basement mould- 
ing is made up of eight great serpents, two on each 
face, whose upraised breasts in the centre form the 
^ide-pieces of the steps that lead up to the central 
building, whatever that was. These serpents are 
not, however, our familiar seven-headed Nagas that 
we meet with everywhere in India and Cambodja, 
but more like the fierce, crested serpents of Central 
America." So far Fergusson ; but the well or pit, 
notwithstanding the veneration of which the bo-tree 
was the object, seems rather to have been a 
receptacle for the ashes of the princes of Mojopahit 
whose memory the founder of this mausoleum, 
probably Queen Jayavisnuvardhani, the above- 
mentioned Ratu Kenya, immortalised in the Damar 
Wulan, intended to perpetuate. The raksasas, 
guardians of the ruins of the principal structure. 


bear the date 1242 Saka (a.d. 1320) ; a minor temple 
and terrace give the dates 1369 and 1375, from 
which it has been concluded that they were added 
in the reign of Ratu Kenya's son Hayam Wurook. 

The edifice rose from a square base and large 
statues of Siva as Kala adorn the feet of the stair- 
cases which lead to the first and second terrace. Of 
the temple proper not a stone is left ; the walls of 
pit and terraces are covered with sculpture, a sort 
of griffins on the highest, scenes from the Ramayana 
and illustrations of other popular poems and fables 
on the lower ones, beautiful work but irreparably 
damaged by official bungling. As if the apathy 
which suffered this noble monument to be despoiled 
and the providentially undemolished parts to 
crumble away, had not done enough harm, an 
amateur invested with local authority conceived a 
plan of restoration and preservation on official lines, 
that beat even the methods of the art-connoisseurs 
of the chain - gang to whom the care for the 
antiquities at Jogjakarta is entrusted, which would 
make reconstruction impossible for all time to come 
and deface the ornament in the thoroughest possible 
way. In obedience to a Government resolution of 
June 22, 1900, Nr. 18, the Batavian Society of Arts 
and Sciences having been consulted with a view to 
save the chandi Panataran from further decay, the 
Contr6leur in charge of the administrative division 
within whose boundaries it is situated, engaged 
native masons who, following their instructions, 
cemented, plastered and whitewashed to the tune of 


fl. 989.10 (about ;^82) with the magnificent result 
that the upper terrace has been transformed into a 
thickly plastered reception-bower for picnic parties ; 
that everything has received a neat coat of white- 
wash to rejoice the hearts of housewives out for the 
day with their husbands, little family and friends ; 
that the architectural detail has been hidden under 
solid layers of mortar and cement. Plaster, white- 
wash and cement everywhere : the noses and other 
extremities of the scanty statuary still in place but 
injured by time and hand of man, have been touched 
up with it ; from top to bottom it has been smeared 
over whatever could be reached, making the 
venerable old temple hideously ridiculous — an 
orgy of "conservation" in the pernicious official 
acceptance of the word, hoary age being ravaged 
by cheap, destructive "tidying up". This is how 
the theory of Government solicitude for the ancient 
monuments of Java works out in practice. 

It must be considered a miracle or evidence of 
the native masons possessing a higher developed 
artistic sense than their employer, that the bas- 
reliefs have suffered less than this extraordinary 
process of restoration and preservation portended, 
though much detail has been destroyed, thanks to 
their vandalism under orders from Batavia as under- 
stood by the Philistine of Blitar. In the first place 
we find again, divided by medallions with representa- 
tions of animal life, a sculptural delineation of the 
Ramayana, the artist's buoyant fancy, blending the 
celestial with the human, shedding a divine light on 


acts of most common daily occurrence by making 
gods and semi-gods partake of man's estate in deeds 
sublimely natural. The Ramayana was a great 
favourite for the decoration of temples, as proved 
by the chandis Panataran, Toompang, Surawana 
and Prambanan ; the Mahabharata or, rather, its 
Javanese version, the Brata Vuda, came as a good 
second ; the Arjuno Wiwaha of the poet Mpu 
Kanwa has been put to use for the embellishment 
of the chandis Surawana and Toompang ; the 
Kersnayana for that of the chandis Toompang and 
Panataran. We might do worse and, in fact, we 
are doing worse with our insipid epitaphs and 
tasteless lapidary pomposity in our cemeteries, 
than adorn the tombs of our great departed with 
imagery taken from our poets, tellers of good tales 
and fabulists, the life they knew so well aiding us 
to fathom death with its mysteries and promises. 
The promise most cherished by the Hindu Javanese 
was that personified in Siva : death to make new 
life grow and increase in beauty among mortals 
feeding on happiness, by reason of Kala's breath 
destroying the misery of tottering old age, raising 
man to equality with the gods. That is what the 
people, for whom the marvellous ancient monuments 
of Java were built, loved to read in the masterpieces 
of their literature, carved for their benefit on the 
mausoleums of their kings, heeding the wise lessons 
for whoso chooses to reflect, of their Canterbury 
Tales, Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost and Paradise 
Regained ; their Narrenschiff, Dil Ulenspigel and 


Faust ; their Divina Commedia and Decameron ; 
their Romancero del Cid and Conde Lucanor ; their 
nouvelles and joyeux devis, their vies tres horrijiques 
of their Gargantuas and Pantagruels, Life in their 
thought being intimately connected with death, 
which consequently inspired nothing of the abject 
terror the practice of western Christianity clothes it 
with, in curious contrast to the saving hope of its 
eastern origin, we discern cheerfulness, the effect of 
serene meditation, the true amrita, the rejuvenating 
nectar of self-existent immortality, as the keynote 
also to sensible earthly existence in the infinitely 
varied forms inviting our examination on the walls 
of the chandi Panataran. Greift nur hinein ins 
voile Menschenleben ! If the beholder be a philoso- 
pher or an artist, or both, desirous to grasp the full 
life of man, he will receive rare instruction ; and if a 
lustige Person as well, joy will accrue to him from 
the sempiternal relevancy of Javanese allegorical 
humour, at times almost prophetic : the sculptor 
of the pigheaded but self-satisfied peasant who 
cultivates his land with a plow drawn by crabs,^ 
must have had a vision of the Dutch Government 
endeavouring, after periodical visitations of worse 
than customary want, misery and famine, to secure 
progress and prosperity in the island by appointing 
long commissions with long names, toiling long years 
over long reports that leave matters exactly where 
they were. 

' Bas-relief on the remains of a small building detached from the chandi 
Panataran proper. 


The skies in the scenery of the bas-reliefs on the 
lowest terrace of the chandi Panataran have some- 
thing very peculiar, termed cloud - faces by Dr. 
Brandes, who recognised in the fantastic forms of 
the floating vapour as reproduced in the hard stone, 
demons and animals to which he drew special 
attention : a i«/«-head, a furious elephant threaten- 
ing to charge, etc. The figures of all bas-reliefs, 
mostly perhaps those of the second tier from below, 
are notable for their departure from the smooth 
treatment generally accorded to Javanese sculpture 
of the period and best defined perhaps in the phrase 
of one of Canova's critics when he derided that 
artist's " peeled-radish " style. Angular and flat, 
they remind one of the wayang-'^\y^^&X.%, and the 
obvious correspondence between the manner in 
which the chandi Panataran illustrates some of the 
chief productions of Javanese literature and the per- 
formances of the Javanese national theatre, has been 
cleverly insisted upon by Roufifaer. The wayang, 
i.e. the dramatic art of the island, sprang probably 
from religious observances of pre- Hindu origin. 
Dr. G. A. J. Hazeu ^ is of opinion that it formed 
part of the ritual of the ancient faith, and even now 
the hadat requires a sacrifice, the burning of incense, 
etc., before the play commences. The Javanese 
word lakon, a derivation from laku, which signifies 
both "to run" and "to act", applied to stage 
composition, is the exact etymological equivalent of 
our "drama"; the lakon yeyer {layer or 

' Bijdrage tot de Kennis van het Javaansche Tooneel. 


confines itself to tradition, the lakon karangan to 
subjects taken from tradition but freely handled, the 
lakon sempalan to episodes from works otherwise 
unsuitable because of their length. The wayang 
appears, according to means of interpretation, as 
wayang poorwa or kulit} gedog, kelitik or karucil, 
golek, topeng, wong and beber, of which the wayang 
poorwa holds the oldest title to direct descent from 
the ancestral habit of invocation of the spirits of 
the dead. The epithet poorwa has been derived 
from the parwas of the Mahabharata which, to- 
gether with the Ramayana and similar sources, 
offered an abundant supply of dramatic material ; it 
is from the wayang poorwa that the Javanese people 
derive their notions of past events, as the inhabitants 
of another island did theirs from their poet and 
playwright Shakespeare's histories before eminent 
actor-managers set to " improve " upon his work, 
mutilating him on his country's stage in the evolu- 
tion of a (fortunately more textual) interpretation, 
pointedly designated as Shakespearian post-impres- 

A wayang poorwa performance knows nothing of 
the showy accessories devised by and for our his- 
trions to hide poverty of mentality and poorness of 
acting, futile attempts to make up in settings, proper- 
ties, costumes and trappings, tailoring, millinery and 
disproportionate finery what they lack in essentials. 
The performer sits under his lamp behind a white, 
generally red-bordered piece of cloth stretched over 

' KiiHt means leather, the material of which the puppets are made. 


a wooden frame on which he projects the figures. 
He speaks for them and intersperses explanations 
and descriptions, directing the musicians with his 
gavel of wood or horn, striking disks of copper or 
brass to intimate alarums, excursions, etc. Formerly 
all the spectators were seated before the screen, as 
they still are in West Java, Bali and Lombok, but 
gradually the men, separating from the women and 
children, moved behind, so that in Central and East 
Java they see both the puppets and their shadows. 
The zuayang gedog, much less popular than the 
wayang poorwa, evolved from it in the days of 
Mojopahit as Dr. L. Serrurier informs us ; while 
the latter draws its repertory principally from Indian 
epics, the former with Raden Panji, Prince of 
Jenggala, for leading hero, is more exclusively 
Javanese and prefers the low metallic music of the 
gamelan pelog^ to that of the gamelan salendro^ 
with its high notes as of ringing glass. In the 
■wayang kelitik or karucil, of later invention and 
never of a religious character, the puppets them- 
selves are shown : since wayang means " shadow ", 
the use of that word is here, for that reason, less 
correct, and the same applies to the wayang golek in 
which the marionettes lose their spare dimensions 

^ The gamelan, as already remarked, is the Javanese orchestra, and besides 
the gamelan salendro and the gamelan pelog, the gamelan miring should be 
mentioned, which varies from the former in the higher pitch of one of the five 
notes as produced by some of the instruments. The Kiahi Moonggang, a 
relic of mighty Mojopahit, the oldest, most sacred and least melodious of the 
royal sets of gamelan instruments, is played every Saturday evening and so 
long as its tones fill the air, all other gamelans must remain silent. Cf Dr. J. 
Groneman, De Gamelan te Jogjakarta. 


and become stout and podgy ; to the wayang topeng ^ 
and wong'^ in which Hving actors perform, an innova- 
tion not countenanced by the orthodox, who are 
afraid that such deviations from the hadat may result 
in dread calamities ; and to the wayang beber which 
consists in displaying the scenes otherwise enacted, 
in the form of pictures. Every one finds in the 
wayang, of whatever description, an echo of his 
innermost self: the high-born, smarting under a 
foreign yoke, in the penantang (challenge and 
defiance), the lowly in the banolan (farce), the fair 
ones of all classes in the prenesan (sentimental, 
gushing, spoony speech). It is a treat to look at 
the natives, squatted motionless for hours and hours 
together, their eyes riveted on the screen, listening 
to the voice of the invisible performer, marvelling 
at the adventures of the men and women who 
peopled the negri jawa before them and faded into 
nothingness, even the mightiest among them, whose 
mausolea at Prambanan, Toompang, Panataran, 
bear witness to the truth of those amazing deeds 
of derring-do, love and hate, which will remain the 
wonder of the world. To them the phantom- 
shadows are reality of happiness in a dull, vexatious 
life which is but the veil of death. 

From Java, says Dr. Juynboll, the wayang 
poorwa was transplanted to Bali, where it is still 

^ The topeng actors are masked conformably to the meaning of the word.. 
Masques and masquerades seem to be of high antiquity in ] ava ; the Malat of 
the Fanji-cycXe already mentions that kind of dramatic entertainment. 

2 Utilised for prose works in the langen driya, devised by Pangeran Arya 
Mangku Negara IV., and in the langen asmara, devised by Prabu Widaya, » 
son of Paku Buwono IX. 


called wayang parwa and the puppets present a more 
human appearance. Beside' it thrives, especially 
in Karang Asam, the wayang sasak, introduced from 
Lombok and more Muhammadan in character, 
whose puppets have longer necks after the later 
Javanese fashion. Apart from such influences, 
Balinese art, however, does not disown its Hindu- 
Javanese origin. The inhabitants of the island, 
with the exception of the Bali aga, the aborigines 
in the mountains, different in many respects, pride 
themselves on the name of wong (men of) Mojopahit 
and adhere to the Brahman religion, though here 
and there a few Buddhists may be encountered. 
They are divided into castes and Sivaite rites play 
an important part in the religious ceremonial of the 
upper classes. The common people have adopted 
a sort of pantheism which makes them sacrifice in 
the family circle to benevolent and malevolent spirits 
of land and water, domiciled in the sea, rivers, hills, 
valleys, cemeteries, etc. The village temples are 
more specifically resorted to for propitiation of the 
jero taktu, a superior being entrusted with the 
guidance of commercial affairs and best approached 
through the guardian of his shrine, who is held in 
greater respect than the real priests. Every village 
has also a house of the dead, consecrated to Doorga, 
a goddess in high repute with those desirous to 
dispel illness, to secure a favourable issue of some 
enterprise, to learn the trend of coming events ; the 
heavenly lady enjoys in Bali a far wider renommde 
than her lord and master Siva, who is honoured in 


six comparatively little-frequented temples. As to 
the decadent architecture and excessive ornamenta- 
tion ^ of the Balinese houses of worship, Dr. Brandes 
considers both the one and the other a direct out- 
come of the decay of the eastern Javanese style, 
exemplified in the chandis Kedaton (1292), Machan 
Puti,^ Surawana and Tegawangi. The leading 
ideas of the chandi bentar or entrance gate, and of 
\h^ paduraksa or middle gate, adduces Rouffaer, are 
related respectively to those of the gate Wringin 
Lawang at Mojopahit and of what the present day 
Javanese call gapura in sacred edifices as old kratons, 
old burial-grounds, etc. ; and to those of the gate 
Bajang Ratu, also at Mojopahit. These gates 
Wringin Lawang and Bajang Ratu, states the 
same authority further, can teach us moreover a few 
things anent the architecture of the puris (palaces). 
The temples and princely dwellings of Mataram 
in Lombok were completely destroyed during the 
inglorious war of 1894; the country-seat of 
Narmada, however, a fine specimen of an eastern 
pleasance, has escaped demolition. For how long ? 
In this respect it seems relevant to point to the 
circumstance that the monuments of the smaller 
Soonda islands, much more conveniently placed for 
the unscrupulous spoiler because under less constant 
observation of the general public, are exposed to 
even greater danger than those in Java, Government 

^ In Balinese decoration, writes Miss Martine Tonnbt (see her article 
already cited), the naga- (or kala-naga-) seems to flourish beside the makara- 

^ Lit. ' ' white tiger ", situated in Banyuwangi. 

176 MONUMENTAL JAVA chap, vi 

supervision counting for worse than nothing. A 
Batavia paper denounced quite recently a traveller 
who had been visiting the Dutch East Indies and, 
armed with letters of recommendation from person- 
ages of the highest rank and title in the Netherlands, 
had been collecting curiosa and antiquities on a 
vast scale only to advertise his collection for sale 
as soon as unpacked after his return to Europe. It 
contained carved ornament from temples, sacrificial 
vessels and statuary from Bali, besides woven goods, 
implements used in batikking, musical instruments, 
zw«;)/««^-puppets, etc. The profit attached to this 
sort of globe-trotting is enormous, since the coveted 
objects can be acquired for a mere song by taking 
advantage of the influential assistance secured through 
letters of recommendation over high-sounding names. 
A hint from those in authority goes a very long 
way with the docile native, in fact goes the whole 
way of appropriation at a nominal value, and the big 
official who left his post in the exterior possessions, 
bound for home, also quite recently, with fifty boxes 
of antique ware of a different kind, collected in his 
residency, made certainly as good a haul as the 
distinguished, brilliantly recommended tourist. 



Was ist das Heiligste ? Das was heut' und ewig die Geister 
Tief und tiefer gefiihlt, immer nur einiger macht.' 

Wolfgang von Goethe, Vier Jahreszeiten {Herbst). 

Although the theory of Gautama the Sugata's life- 
story being only a repolished solar myth has 
broken down, its vital element of emancipation from 
Brahmanic bonds is certainly much older than 
Buddhism and the traditional Buddha but an 
incarnation of ideas long germinating and attain- 
ing fruition in his teachings, precisely as happened 
with other religious reformers who came and went 
before and after. The thirty -three gods of the 
three worlds, "eleven in heaven, eleven on earth 
and eleven dwelling in glory in mid-air," with their 
three supreme shining ones, Brahma, .Vishnu and 
Siva, creating, maintaining, destroying and creating 
anew, began to pall on the human trimoorti of 
brain, heart and bodily wants ; the moral dispensa- 

' What is Holiest ? That which now and ever the souls of men 
Have felt deep and deeper, will always more unite them. 

177 N 


tion on which the social edifice was founded, began 
to need revision. Neither did the orthodox, at 
•first, refuse admittance to the spirit of emendation. 
At the sangharama'^ of Nalanda the Vedas were 
taught together with the Buddhist doctrine accord- 
ing to the tenets of the Greater and the Lesser 
Vehicle a ckoix. The Buddha had to be accepted 
and was accepted equally by eastern tolerance and 
western necessity ; while ranking as a divine 
teacher among his followers in the legendary 
development of his precepts, he received honour 
as an incarnation of Vishnu among the Hindus, 
says Sir William W. Hunter,^ and as a Saint of 
the Christian Church, with a day assigned to him 
in both the Greek and Roman calendars. Truly, 
the Hindus regarded him as the ninth and hitherto 
last incarnation of Vishnu, the Lying Spirit let loose 
to deceive man until the tenth and final descent of 
the god, on the white horse, with a flaming sword 
like a comet in his hand, for the destruction of the 
wicked and the renovation of the world, but he was 
reckoned with and acknowledged in their mythology, 
and the remarkable conformity between Prince 
Sarvarthasiddha's lineage, adventures and achieve- 
ments, and those of the seventh avatar of the 
Hindu deity in the Ramayana are certainly more 
than accidental. The law of mercy to all, preached 
by the blissful Bhagavat, the Buddha, the Saviour, 
affected the Brahman creed profoundly ; so pro- 

1 An endowed convent whose inmates spent their lives in studious 

" The Indian Empire : its Peoples, History and Products. 


foundly in its deductions, that apprehensive priests 
resolved to extirpate Buddhist heresy. But since 
religious persecution always defeats its purpose, 
Buddhism throve with oppression and holds fully 
its own against the two other great religions of 
the present day, al- Islam and Christianity. 

To define the Buddhism which, parallel and 
entwined with Hinduism, preceded the Muham- 
madanism of Java, is no easy matter, if it is possible 
at all. For the sake of convenience Javanese 
Buddhism may be classified as tnahayanistic, con- 
formable to the northern canon or doctrine of the 
Greater Vehicle, versus hinayanistic, i.e. conform- 
able to the southern canon or the doctrine of the 
Lesser Vehicle. But the geographical division 
proposed by Burnouf, hardly meets the case of our 
more advanced knowledge, which points rather to 
chronological distinctions. Javanese Buddhism of 
the younger growth was strongly impregnated 
with modified Brahmanic conceits,^ in fact a 
compromise between the hopeful expectation of 
the Metteya Buddha, the Messiah promised by 
Bhagavat, and resignation to the decrees of the 
Jagad Guru whom the Saivas of Hindu Java had 
chosen for their ishta-devata, the fittest form in 
which to adore the Ruler of the Universe, Param 

^ After this was written a remarkable article by Dr. L. A. Waddkll in 
The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Remem (January, 1912), insisting upon the 
theistic nature of Buddhism and speaking of the profound theistic development 
which had taken place — about 100 B.C. — in the direction of the Mahayana 
form of that faith, pointed to the fact of Brahmanic gods being also conspicu- 
ous in the earliest Buddhist sculptures of India, adorning, e.^.,'the stupa of 


Esvara. Siva lost under Buddhist influences his 
terrorising aspect as Kala, and the two creeds, 
giving and taking, lived in perfect concord. The 
statues of the Dhyani Buddhas partook of Siva's 
attributes ; those of their sons, the Bodhisatvas, the 
Buddhas in evolution, and of their saktis, showed the 
characteristics of other Hindu gods and goddesses ; 
Siva, conversely, assumed the features of Avaloki- 
tesvara or Padmapani, the Buddhist lord of the 
world that is now. I have already spoken of the 
enthroned Bodhisatvas represented at the Sivaite 
ternples of Prambanan and the more or less Sivaite 
exterior of the Buddhist chandi Mendoot. Also 
of this remarkable syncretism, born from inbred 
tolerance, leading to new transactions with the 
Islam, exacting as it may be everywhere else ; of 
the deference still shown to deities of the Hindu 
pantheon in the shape of jinn ; of the adjustment 
of Muhammadan institutions to usages of Hindu 
origin ; etc. And Buddhism, doubtless, prepared 
the mystically inclined mind of the Javanese 
Moslim .for the acceptance of the mild Sufism of 
the school of Gazali, which guides him in sub- 
mission of will to ma'ripat, full knowledge, and 
hakakat, most hidden truth, while he lacks the 
conviction, to quote Professor L. W. C. van den 
Berg, that his neglect of the prescribed daily 
prayers will make him lose his status as a true 

Central Java is richer yet in the quality than in 
the quantity of its Buddhist monuments, whose 


(C. Nieuwenhuis.) 


builders and decorators, like the true artists they 
were, told what they knew and believed, nothing 
but that, and therefore told it so well/ To examine 
their work, beautiful even in decay, beginning with 
the smaller structures, we wend our way again to 
the plain of Prambanan. Travelling from Jogjakarta 
to Surakarta by rail, the first stopping-place, reached 
in about twenty minutes, is Kalasan, the chandi of 
that name, otherwise called Kali Bening, being 
visible from the train. Once it must have been one 
of the finest and most elaborately wrought in the 
island ; now only the south front, nearly tumbling 
down, witnesses to its former splendour. It was 
built in 700 Saka (a.d. 778), a date preserved in a 
Nagari inscription which settles that point,^ and 
names a Shailandra prince as its founder in honour 
of his guru (teacher), doing homage to Tara ^ who, 
seeing the destruction of men in the sea of life, 
which is full of incalculable misery, saves them by 
three means . . . ; it speaks of a grant of land to 

' On rereading this sentence, I see that in writing it I was with Ruskin at 
the Shepherd's Tower. No harm done ! His observations bear repetition, 
notwithstanding the present fashion of pooh-poohing him, and setting myself 
in the pillory as a plagiarist, I improve the opportunity by making amende 
{honorable, I hope) also for what this book owes to many other lovers of and 
thinkers on art, not scrupulously acknowledged in every instance because I 
compose without the help of numbered and dated notes, and memory, though 
not failing in the essence of what has been stored from their treasures, dis- 
appoints at times in the matter of chapter and verse. 

^ The chandi Kalasan is the only one in Central Java of which we possess 
the exact date. 

' The taras are the saktis of the five Dhyani Buddhas that Occupy a place 
in Javanese speculative philosophy, Vajradhatvisvari pairing with Vajrochana, 
Lotchana with Akshobhya, Mamaki with Ratnasambhava, Pandara with 
Amitabha, and Tara par excellence with Amoghasiddha, these unions being 
responsible for the Bodhisatvas Samantabhadra, Vajrapani, Ratnapani, 
Padmapani and the coming Vishvapani. 


the monks of a neighbouring monastery, contains 
several particulars of practical value with an admoni- 
tion to keep a bridge or dam in repair, etc. The 
building, in the form of a Greek cross, had four 
apartments, reached by a terrace and four staircases, 
the stones of which have been carried away long 
ago. The four gates, judging by the little left on 
one of them, were profusely decorated with the 
kala-makara motive dominating the ornament. The 
roof bore images of Dhyani Buddhas in 44 niches 
and was crowned with 16 dagobs so called, the 
principal one rising probably to a great height. 
Time and rapine have reduced this magnificent 
realisation of a glorious conception, this masterpiece 
of measured luxury, as Rouffaer styles it justly, to 
a melancholy heap of debris. The statuary which 
adorned the exterior is gone, save three images in 
their niches, examples of the gorgeous but never 
too florid ornamentation ; . the interior pictures 
desolation, ruin within ruin ! A disfigured elephant, 
driven by a horned monster, its mahout, protrudes 
from the wall above the throne it protects, but the 
cushioned seat is empty. The statue taken from 
it was presumably a representation of the beatific 
Tara glorified in the inscription, the noble and 
venerable one, whose smile made the sun to shine 
and whose frown made darkness to envelop the 
terrestrial sphere. , It has been surmised that the 
mysterious female deity in the residency grounds at 
Jogjakarta originally filled the throne of Kalasan, 
but the vanished Tara left her cushion behind and 


the unknown goddess, whose lovely body rivals the 
lotus-flower in august sweetness, holds firmly to her 
padmasana in addition to her attributes defying 
identification as the mother of the Buddha who 
is to be. 

The short distance between the chandi Kalasan 
or Kali Bening and the chandi Sari must have been 
often traversed by the seekers of the noble eight- 
fold path, inquirers into the four truths and 
examiners of the three signs, mortifiers of their flesh 
in the practice of the ten repugnances. Bikshus, 
living on the alms they collected without asking by 
word or gesture, without unduly attracting attention, 
passing in silence those inclined and those not in- 
clined to charity, avoiding the houses and people 
dangerous to virtue, never tarrying anywhere and 
never presenting themselves more than three times 
at the doors of the uncharitable, eating the food 
received in solitude before noon, the only meal 
allowed to them, they must have awakened a good 
deal of pity in their tattered robes, but one suspects 
that the mendicant brethren of Java, notwithstanding 
their individual vows of poverty, were exceedingly 
wealthy as a community after the wont of their kind 
everywhere and of whatever religious denomina- 
tion. Their viharas or monasteries, to judge from 
the ruins, were well appointed and the inmates 
apparently well provided for by princes who took a 
pride or found their interest in befriending religion 
and the religious. If strictly adhering to their 
monastic rules, the Buddhist monks had to live 


in the open, but the wet monsoon is not a pleasant 
season in the woods without adequate protection 
against storm and rain, and avec le ciel tl y a des 
accommodements, a motto acted upon long before le 
Sieur Poquelin formulated it. The chandi Sari is 
supposed to have been the main structure of the 
residential quarter destined for the accommodation 
of the clergy connected with the chandi Kalasan, 
the abode of the monks who knew the greater 
vehicle of discipline as the inscription has it, the 
monastery built by command of the Shailendra king 
for their venerable congregation and recommended 
to his successors in order that all who followed their 
teachings might understand the cause and effect of 
the positive condition of things and attain prosperity. 
The rectangular building had a lower and an upper 
storey, both divided into three rooms, lighted by 
windows ; the absent roof had niches for statuary, 
capped with diminutive domes in the manner of 
dagobs. In the decoration extensive use has been 
made of the elephant and the makara, the fabulous 
fish with an elephant's head ; images of saints with 
and without aureoles, of celestial beings more 
suggestive of the Hindu pantheon than of Buddhist 
atheism,^ of the bird -people and divers animals, 
enliven the rich, flowery ornament of the well 

^ Here another quotation may be permitted from Dr. L. A. Waddell's 
article, Evolution of the Buddhist Cult, its Gods, Images and Art (The 
Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review, January, 1912) : And notwith- 
standing that the Mahayana was primarily a nihilistic mysticism, with a 
polytheism only in the background, the latter soon came to the front and 
has contributed more than anything else to the materialising and popularity 
of Buddhism. 


(C Nieuwenhuis.) 


proportioned facings, cornices and window-frames. 
Rising gracefully from its solid yet elegant base, the 
edifice creates an impression of airiness and stability 
cleverly combined, the dark gray colour of the 
weatherbeaten andesite blending harmoniously with 
the tender green of the bambu-stools which trans- 
port our thoughts to the garden of Kalandra where 
the Buddha, preaching the lotus of the good law, 
made converts foreordained to rank among his 
most famous disciples : Sariputra, Maudgalyayana, 
Katyayana. . . . And the officially licensed sinners 
against the ancient monuments of Java, hardened, 
habitual criminals in that respect, expressly appointed 
to do their worst at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, 
pretended their horrid botch in the Park of the 
Trocad^ro to be a reproduction d'une puretd irrd- 
prochable of this rare gem of architectural workman- 
ship, the chandi Sari ! 

As in India, pious foundations for the benefit of 
those under bond to serve religion, disregarding 
worldly considerations, must have been numerous 
in Java, especially in the plain of Prambanan, once 
studded with viharas like Asoka's kingdom, the 
"Behar" of to-day. Passing over the monastic 
claims advanced for some ruins in the southern 
mountains, those of Plahosan cannot be ignored. 
There we find the remains of two buildings, formerly 
enclosed by a wall, portions of which are recognis- 
able, and surrounded by smaller structures arranged 
in three rows, the inner ones reminding of the style 
conspicuous in the chandi Sewu, about a mile to 


the west-southwest. Close together, but originally 
perhaps divided by a second wall, they are situated 
due north and south from each other with their 
entrances to the west ; the roofs have succumbed ; 
of the two storeys only the lower ones, containing 
sufficient space for three rooms, are tolerably pre- 
served. Of a composite nature, the chandi Plahosan 
was presumably rather a sangharama than a vihara 
and the doorkeeper at the gate, when all those 
scattered stones and the smashed, stolen or other- 
wise removed statues were still in place, may have 
welcomed the wayfarer, seeking shelter on a 
tempestuous night, with such difficult questions as 
barred access to the hospitality of Silabhadra, the 
superior of Nalanda, and his flock. Hiuen Tsiang, 
the Chinese pilgrim, who could answer them all 
and a good many more, has left us a description of 
the sangharama, the six consolidated viharas of 
Nalanda with their towers, domes and pavilions, 
embellished by the piety of the kings of the five 
Indies ; their gardens, splashing fountains and 
shady groves, where he spent several years learning 
Sanskrit and the wisdom of the holy books, never 
thinking the days too long ; their life of ease, 
scarcely conducive to the austere observance of 
pristine discipline by the ten thousand brethren 
under vows and novices who crowded thither to 
seek purification and deliverance from sin in study 
and meditation, — a description which, for want of 
any better, our fancy takes leave to apply to 
Plahosan. Though separated by months of travel 


from Bodhimanda, where Sakyamuni entered the 
state of the perfect Buddha and the proximity of 
which gave Nalanda its holy character, the zeal 
of its scholars and saints, no less tolerant than 
Hiuen Tsiang's temporary co-students, who sifted 
with laudable impartiality the truth from the Vedas, 
from the doctrines of the two vehicles and from the 
heresies of the eighteen schismatics, undoubtedly 
stimulated religious life in the best sense of the 
word, religion disposing the mind to kindliness and 
goodwill, as it should, strengthening social ties, 
fostering science and art. 

The walls of the chandi Plahosan, in so far as 
preserved, are beautifully decorated with sculpture 
in bas-relief. The delicate tracery of the basement 
is divided by slender pilasters and the frieze 
beneath the symmetric cornice is richly festooned, 
parrots nestling in the foliage among the flowers, 
Bodhisatvas, standing between, formed the principal 
ornament of panels bordered by garlands with 
pendent prayer-bells ; the remaining ones grasp 
lotus-stems springing up to their left ; gandharvas 
(celestial singers) float over the garuda-h&a.As of the 
portals. The reliefs represent scenes familiar to the 
observer of native life : here a couple of men seated 
under a bo-tree or waringin and saluting a person 
of rank, raising their folded hands to perform the 
sembah ; there a mas ^ with his attendants, one of 
whom holds the payoong (sunshade) over his head 

' Mas, meaning " gold", is used as a predicate of nobility and also as a 
title conferred in polite address on persons of lower birth. 


while another carries a senteh^ leaf. Four stone 
figures guard the approaches to the viharas, armed 
with cudgel and sword ; in one hand they hold the 
snake which, after the manner of their kind, should 
be worn over one shoulder and across the breast, 
replacing the upawita. The statuary which adorned 
the inner rooms, was of large dimensions, finely 
chiselled and garnished with profuse detail, con- 
cluding from what we know of it. Part has been 
removed to the "museum" at Jogja, part has been 
broken to pieces by treasure-hunters who dug holes 
and sunk shafts, disturbing the foundations of the 
chandi Plahosan in their ignorance of the difference 
between Buddhist monasteries and Hindu mausolea 
built round funeral pits ; the sorely damaged images 
of holiness which were suffered to keep their 
stations by frankly destructive and even more 
pernicious official or semi-official soi-disant "pre- 
servation and conservation," are truly pitiful to 
behold. It seems, indeed, as if the monuments 
specially recommended to official care, are singled 
out for the most irreparable injury. On a par with 
the wild feast of plaster, cement and whitewash at 
Panataran was the wonderful planning of a restora- 
tion of the chandi Plahosan after faulty drawings 
and the simultaneous disappearance of the staircase 
and a portion of the substructure of the northern 

Less than a mile to the south of the stopping- 

■^ Alocasia macrorrhiza Schott of the Aracaceae family ; the leaf, which 
once betokened dignity, is still used to protect the head and upper part of the 
body against rain ; other parts of the plant serve sometimes as food. 


place Prambanan on the railroad from Jogja to Solo, 
are the ruins of a group of chandis vi\i\c\i may or may 
not have borne a monastic character/ Sajiwan and 
Kalongan being the names connected with it. One 
of the structures was cleared in 1893 by the Archaeo- 
logical Society of Jogjakarta and to its statuary 
applies what has been said of the atrocities per- 
petrated, at Plahosan : besides downright spoliation 
the same errors of omission and commission. From 
Prambanan proper, i.e. from the Loro Jonggrang 
group, it is a short walk to the chandi Sewu, which 
means the " thousand temples ". They are situated 
in Surakarta, the boundary between the Susuhunan's 
and the Sooltan's domains, indicated by two white 
pillars, running just behind the smaller structures 
which face the shrines of Brahma and Vishnu 
flanking that of Siva. But, though the walk is 
short, it may be a trifle too sunny for comfort even 
if it be morning and the roads lively with the women 
returning from market, the surroundings of the 
houses of prayer and death gladdening the eye, 
presenting a spectacle full of colour and light, the 
matrons treading their way statelily and steadily, 
the maidens, decorous and modest, gliding behind 
their elders like the devis, the shining ones descended 
from the Ramayana reliefs, to exhibit their exquisite 
forms, bashful however conscious of their worth 
in that golden, sweet-scented atmosphere. They 

1 The pit there discovered makes the monastic character more than 
doubtful while it accentuates the syncretism in which also the ornament of 
these chandis does not differ from all Central Javanese religious structures of 
the period, except those on the Dieng plateau. 


have no business at the chandi Sewu and on the 
unfrequented by-path thither we proceed alone, save 
for a few children with no more to cover their 
nakedness than the loveliest innocence — a garment 
quite different from the western cache-misere of 
mawkish prudery — , curious to find out what the 
strangers are about. Under their escort we reach 
the chandi Loomboong (^a^z-shed), thus called from 
the size and form of the ruins which compose it. 
They are sixteen in number, arranged in a square 
round the principal structure, its once octagonal 
roof, shaped like a dagob, attesting to its Buddhist 
character, though it is not unmixed with Sivaite 
elements as the funeral pits plainly indicate. They 
were already empty when examined some years ago 
and the fine statues tradition speaks of, can nowhere 
be found. The little ornament left in place and 
one single fragment of a bas-relief give a high idea 
of the decoration when the beauty of these temples 
had not yet faded away, exactly as in the case of 
the chandi Bubrah,^ another shrine on the via sacra 
which connects the Loro Jonggrang and Sewu 
groups. To quote Major van Erp again: The 
state of affairs here is very sad ; of the chandis 
Ngaglik, Watu Gudik and Geblak, which the 
memory of the oldest inhabitants puts somewhat 
farther north, even the site cannot now be located. 

By the time we reach the thousand temples, 
Surya, the sun-god, has driven his fiery carriage to 
the zenith of his daily course through the air and 

' Best translated by " ruin '' 




the fire-eyed raksasas, who guard the enclosure of 
holiness; two for each of the four entrances, stretch 
their gigantic limbs with dreadful menace in the 
warm brilliancy of indefinite space, tangible terror. 
Down on one knee to strike, snakes hanging from 
their left shoulders as poisonous baldrics, they seem 
to mark the transition between the worship of Kala, 
quickening destruction personified, and the creed 
which hails in death the portal to nirvanic nothing- 
ness, the liberation from life's miseries. Behind them 
reigns the stillness of a tropical noon, subduing 
heaven and earth to silent but intensely passionate 
day-dreams. The kingly sun, the sun of Java, wide- 
skirted Jagannath, having mounted to the summit 
of the fleckless sky, pauses a moment before 
descending, he, the light of the world, exciting to 
generative emotion all that dwells below. The 
fructifying charm of his touch is manifest in the 
exuberant fertility of this island fortunate ; in the 
vitality of its people, unrestrained in creative 
capacity by centuries of spoliation ; in their mental 
make-up, revealed in their history, their beliefs, 
traditions and legends. The legend of the chandi 
Sewu may be adduced as an instance in point, 
though nothing but a different version of the legend 
of the chandi Loro Jonggrang. One ancient effort 
to account for architectural wonders deemed of 
supernatural origin, by an explanation whose Indian 
basic idea was transplanted from the fields of eastern 
to those of western folk-lore too, serving at first, 
perhaps, for all the monuments in the plains of 


Prambanan and Soro Gedoog, became the frame- 
work of different tales adapted to the requirements 
of different localities. Here it is the story of Mboq 
Loro Jonggrang repeated, and her lover Raden 
Bandoong Bondowoso is the son of the beautiful 
Devi Darma Wati, daughter of Prabu Darmo 
Moyo, king of the mighty empire of Pengging, 
whose two brothers, Prabu Darmo Haji and Prabu 
Darmo Noto, were kings respectively of Slembri and 

The babad chandi Sewu describes a public 
function at the Court of Prabu Darmo Moyo, who 
sits on his throne of ivory, inlaid with the rarest 
gems. The aloon aloon outside swarms with his 
warriors and while he pronounces judgment and 
invests and displaces, ambassadors from Prambanan 
are announced. They deliver a letter from Prabu 
Karoong Kolo, in which the Boko, the giant-king, 
asks Prabu Darmo Moyo's daughter, Devi Darma 
Wati, in marriage. The Princess, acquainted with 
his suit, declares that she will marry no one but the 
man, be he king or beggar, able to rede a riddle 
which is given, written on a /oniar- leaf, to the 
ambassadors who thereupon depart. On their 
arrival at Prambanan, Prabu Karoong Kolo breaks 
impatiently the seal of the communication ; learning 
its meaning, his eyes dart flames, his mouth foams 
and, tearing the lontar-Xeai into pieces and trampling 
upon it, making the earth tremble and disturbing 
the sky with his noisy wrath, he collects his army 
and marches against Pengging to raze the kraton 


of Prabu Darmo Moyo and carry Darma Wati off. 
The King of Pengging, warned of the approaching 
danger, implores his brother Darmo Noto, King of 
Stidhimoro, to assist him ; with his brother Darmo 
Haji, King of Slembri, an odious tyrant, he has 
broken long ago. Prabu Darmo Noto orders his 
son, the Crown Prince Raden Damar Moyo, to lead 
his troops against the giant-king. Traversing the 
woods at the head of his men, scaling cliffs and 
climbing mountains, crossing rivers and ravines, 
attacked by evil spirits and wild animals, Damar 
Moyo, strenuous in the cause of his uncle and his 
fair cousin, hastens to their defence but, leaving 
every one behind, he loses his way and, tired out at 
last, falls asleep. A strange sensation of heavenly 
joy awakens him and, opening his eyes, he beholds 
the supreme god, Bathara Naradha, who presents 
him with the celestial weapons of the abode of the 
immortals, Jonggring Saloko, salves his forehead 
with the divine spittle to make him invulnerable 
and invincible, and puts into his hand the flower 
Sekar Joyo Kusumo which will enable him to rede 
Devi Darma Wati's riddle. Strengthened and more 
enthusiastic than ever, Raden Damar Moyo, having 
rejoined his army, engages the giants of Prambanan 
and defeats them, astonishing friend and foe with 
his acts of superhuman prowess. He redes the 
riddle, marries Darma Wati, and his father-in-law, 
Prabu Darmo Moyo, appoints him senapati, i.e. 
commander-in-chief of the forces of Pengging. 

The legend being too long for insertion in full, 



.besides its containing details too candidly illustrative 
of the generative emotion engendered by the wide- 
skirted Jagannath, a summary of the events which 
led to the foundation of the chandi Sewu must 
suffice. Boko Prabu Karoong Kolo, King of 
Prambanan, loses his life in another attempt at the 
subjugation of Pengging, and Raden Damar Moyo, 
having nothing more to fear from that side, but 
naturally inclined to strife and contest, resolves to 
take part in the wars then raging among the kings 
of the Thousand Empires, Sewu Negoro. So 
he leaves his wife and the son born to them, 
Raden Bandoong, who grows into a comely youth. 
Arriving at manhood and still in complete ignorance 
of his sire's name and lineage, the prince questions 
his mother on that subject but, in obedience to an 
express order from the gods, she refuses to tell him. 
Vexed and suspicious, he equips himself from the 
armoury of his grandfather, Prabu Darmo Moyo, 
and eludes maternal vigilance, escaping from the 
kraton in search of his father. After many 
adventures, culminating in a conflict with his parent 
in the Sewu Negoro, the two meeting and exchang- 
ing hard blows and parting as strangers, he reaches 
Prambanan, kills Tumenggoong Bondowoso, left in 
charge of that realm, and falls in love with Devi 
Loro Jonggrang, daughter of the late Boko Prabu 
Karoong Kolo. But he has been forestalled in her 
favour by his cousin Raden Boko, who is to become 
her husband on condition of the overthrow of 
.Pengging and Sudhimoro. Suspecting a rival 


while maturing his plans for conquest, this Raden 
Boko takes a mean advantage of the lady by a trick 
learnt from a recluse who lends him a tesbeh (string 
of prayer-beads) which possesses the power of trans- 
forming its temporary owner into a white turtle-dove. 
So disguised, he flies to the women's quarter of the 
kraton of Prambanan and attracts the attention of 
Loro Jonggrang, who responds to the lovely bird's 
advances, puts it in her bosom and pets and fondles 
it to her heart's content until, alas ! it is killed by 
an arrow sped from the never erring bow of Raden 
Bandoong, thanks to the busybodies of the palace 
having informed him of the idyllic progressive 
cooing. Woman-like, the bereaved Devi submits 
to the inevitable after a period of passionate 
mourning, and promises her heart and hand to the 
stronger if not more dexterous suitor on condition 
of his building a thousand temples in one night 
between the first crowing of the cock and daybreak. 
With the help of the gods of Jonggring Saloko he 
accomplishes the task, but at the moment that he 
whispers astaga^ chandi Sewu, struck by the sight 
of the moonlit plain blossoming into a city of 
holiness, the immortals change him for his arrogant 
prayer into a monster of horrible aspect. Woman- 
like again, the Devi declines to keep her promise, 
pleading that she engaged herself to a man and not 
to a brute, and seeks refuge on the banks of the 
river Opak. Frightened by the persecution of 
Raden Bandoong, who tracks her from cave to cave, 

' An exclamation of wonder and surprise. 


she gives untimely birth to a daughter, the fruit of 
her affection for turtle-doves, and dies. The brutal, 
baffled lover still haunts the neighbourhood, which 
therefore native mothers-to-be scrupulously avoid, 
though it is not observed that the virgins derive 
much instruction from the legend as far as concerns 
the consequences of Devi or Mboq Loro Jbng- 
grang's amours at an earlier stage. 

From legendary lore we return to fact in the 
matter of the foundation of the chandi Sewu by 
taking cognisance of an * inscription, mahaprattaya 
sangra granting or sang rangga anting, unearthed 
near one of its 246 (not thousand) temples,^ extol- 
ling the munificence of the magnanimous Granting 
or Anting. The style of writing justifies the 
conjecture that the buildings date from about the 
year 800 and are consequently of one age with the 
Boro Budoor. If not erected by one architect at 
the command of one bounteous prince, and the gifts 
of several pious souls who possessed the wherewithal 
for devotional works, they were at least constructed 
according to one plan steadily kept in view, a good 
deal more than can be said of many religious edifices 
in western climes, which owe their existence less to 
co-operative than to contentious piety. In respect 
of area the largest of the temple groups in Java, 
the first impression received from it is that of a 
chaos of ruins, confusion being worse confounded 
by the quarries opened here and there, and partly 
filled again with earth and rubbish, while a luxuriant 

' And removed to the " museum '' at Jogjakarta. 


vegetation, regaining on the inroads of mattock and 
pickaxe, quickly covers what they disturbed. Look- 
ing closer, the separate shrines with their elaborate 
tracery appear in the fiery embrace of the sun like 
sparkling jewels, trembling with delight in the 
luminous atmosphere beneath the immaculate sky ; 
the very marks of decay and ravaging time are beauti- 
ful ; the weeds clustering round the broken ornament, 
the toppling walls, rouse to fanciful thought. No 
sound is heard ; nothing stirs while we make our 
way to the principal structure, once lording it over 
the smaller ones which stood squarely in four lines, 
28 for the inner, 44 for the next, 80 for the third, 
88 for the outer circumvallation. Excepting those 
of the second row, their entrances faced inward and 
amidst their scanty remains the foundations have 
been uncovered of five somewhat larger ones : two 
to the east, two to the west and one to the north ; 
like the outlying buildings, these are, with regard to 
their superstructures, as if they never existed. Of 
the terraces and staircases no other trace is left than 
the telltale unevenness of the ground. The resem- 
blance in constructive methods between the chandi 
Sewu and the chandi Prambanan strikes one at the 
first glance ; the same builders, it is surmised, strove 
here to do for the Triratna ^ what there they did for 
the Trimoorti ; and if not the , same, they discerned 
equally the one truth bound up in the old creed and 
the new, and expressed it with equal skill and 
conviction in these twin litanies of stone — so the 

' The three gems ; the Buddha, the law and the congregation. 


workers wrought and the work was perfected by 

The decorators in charge of the finishing touches, 
embelHshed this city of temples with a wealth of 
ornament which in the quivering glare of day, 
despite ravage of time and pillage, clothes sanctity 
in robes of encrusted winsomeness. The sculpture 
of the chandi Sewu, says a visitor of a century ago, 
is tasteful, delicate and chaste. Much of what he 
based his judgment on, has since been carried 
off or demolished, but what remains fully bears him 
out : foliage and festoons, garlands and clustered 
flowers, distributed over facings divided into 
lozenges and circles by pilasters and fantastically 
curved lines, with lions, tigers, cattle and deer in 
ever varying abundance, awaken reminiscences of 
the carvings which excited our admiration at 
Prambanan and lead to the question : Did the 
richly framed panellings of the twenty-four external 
wall-spaces of the central temple exhibit scenes from 
the epics and fable-books, besides this sumptuous 
adornment, to match the almost uniform bas-reliefs 
of the lesser structures ? If so, they must have 
rivalled the artistic excellence of the Ramayana 
reliefs which beautify the shrines of Siva, Brahma 
and Vishnu. And a second question arises : Was 
the central temple the depository of a relic? In 
connection with this query it deserves to be noticed 
that, generally speaking and excepting statuary, the 
internal wall -spaces of the chandi Sewu lack 
ornament, evince a soberness in marked contrast to 


■^ 5 

W ^ 

O m 

2 y 

<; 'bo 

5 8 


the extravagant representations of the abode of 
bitterness, as if sign- or house-painters had been 
entrusted with the illustration of Dante's Inferno, 
repulsive attempts a la Wiertz minus the talent to 
be admired in the Rue Vautier at Brussels, night- 
mares of crude drawing and cruder colouring to 
depict perverse torture, I found in eastern edifices 
raised to satisfy priestly conventions, even in 
Ceylon, the island of the doctrine that the Buddha 
next to dwell on earth is the Metteya Buddha, the 
Buddha of Kindness. More in harmony with the 
soul's yearning for his kingdom to come, is the lotus 
motive happily adapted to the decoration of the 
chandi Sewu, especially in one of the partially 
preserved small temples of the outer file, to the east 
of the southern entrance : from a strong stem which 
separates into three branches, on three of the sides, 
the entrance taking up the fourth, three lotus- 
flowers spring from the soil to carry, in a. finely 
chiselled niche, the (vanished) image of the expected 
one, the gone-before and coming-after. A few of 
the outlying buildings have plain facings without 
any ornament at all, from which it has been con- 
cluded that here too something happened to stop 
the labour in progress. Where completed, the 
plump - bellied flowerpot, a familiar feature in 
Javanese ornament, enters largely into the decora- 
tive design and its frequent repetition bestows on 
the sculpture of the chandi Sewu, otherwise so very 
similar to that of Prambanan, a character all its 


It has already been remarked that the interiors 

of the structures which together form this group, 

are almost bare of decoration. The recesses of the 

central temple, whose external ornament surpasses 

in luxuriance everything met elsewhere in Java, 

three small interconnected apartments projecting on 

the west, north and south, while the eastern front is 

broken by the porch, have only empty niches^ 

framed by pilasters with flowery capitals. The 

inner chamber, no less soberly decorated and 

stripped of the statuary it possessed, en ndgligd 

as it were. 

Belle sans ornement, dans le simple appareil 
Lfune beautk qu'on vient d!arracher au sommeil, 

has on its western side a raised throne of ample 
dimensions, once perhaps occupied by the large 
image without head and right hand, dug out of 
the debris and carried off to the " museum " at Jogja. 
It still awaits identification and the difficulty is 
increased by the impropriety of speculating on the 
likelihood that representations of the universal 
spirit were admitted in a temple built for the ritual 
of a creed which acknowledges neither a god nor a 
soul aspiring to communion with the divine essence 
in prayer, desiring nothing but annihilation. Yet 
the Buddhists did learn to pray and to give tran- 
scendental ideas a tangible expression in human 
shape, though they never sank to idolatry. And in 
Java, mixing freely with Brahmanism, not imperme- 

^ Offering accommodation, inclusive of the holy of holies, for 42 statues, 
which had already flown in 1812. 


able to the Sankhya doctrine, Buddhism seems to 
have swerved occasionally from its longings for 
extermination in the Nirvana to entertain vague, 
confused notions of something more hopeful, witness 
the oft repeated Banaspatis. Herein lies, perhaps, 
the explanation of otherwise embarrassing peculiari- 
ties observed in the conception, the attributes and 
attitudes of many Buddhist statues in the island 
which, for the rest, are distinguished by great 
simplicity of execution. So is the throne which 
extends over half the floor of the inner room of the 
central temple of the chandi Sewu, and the same 
applies to the few headless Dhyani Buddhas lying 
round, sundered from their stations where they 
faced the cardinal points, the four quarters of the 
world, and the first of them, the very elevated, 
facing the sky. A gigantic finger of bronze, 
found in the chapel of the throne, supports the 
theory that the principal statue was of that alloy, 
an additional incentive to plunder — ancient images 
of bronze have become scarce indeed : the form of 
the cushioned pedestal in the chandi Kalasan too 
betokens a captured metallic Tara, to the further 
detriment of the domiciliary rights there claimed 
for the homeless Lady of Mystery in the residency 
grounds at Jogja. 

Although the bulky raksasas which keep her 
company in that place of exile, prove that official 
vandalism did not hesitate to avail itself of facilities 
of transportation afforded by forced labour, the 
uncommonly heavy guardians of the chandi Sewu 


balked even the absolute decrees of local despotism. 
Everything desirable that could be detached and 
removed, is, however, gone. Those in authority 
having exercised their privilege by helping them- 
selves, mere private individuals gleaned after their 
reaping, with or without permission, and exceedingly 
interesting collections of antiquities were formed 
by owners of neighbouring sugar-mills. What they 
appropriated, did, at least, remain in the country, 
but, among other sculpture, the lion - fighting 
elephants which lined the fourteen staircases, ten 
feet high and eight feet wide, still in place as late 
as 1 84 1, cannot even be traced — they are dissolved, 
battling animals, staircases and all. It is always and 
everywhere the same story : statuary and ornament 
are stolen, treasure -seekers smash the rest, the 
stones are prime building material and who cares 
for the preservation of worthless, because already 
looted and demolished, tumble - down temples ? 
The monuments in the plain of Soro Gedoog have 
suffered exceptional outrages ; at this moment hardly 
anything is left because there exists absolutely no 
control, says Major van Erp. His investiga- 
tions disclosed that stones taken from the chandi 
Prambanan and, when. this was stopped, from the 
chandi Sewu, were used for the building of a dam 
in the river Opak. Had not public opinion made 
itself heard, both these temples might have shared 
the fate of the chandi Singo, once one of the finest 
in that region, whose gracefully decorated walls 
excited the admiration of Brumund in 1845, whose 


substructure with damaged ornament still held out 
until 1886, while now the ground-plan cannot even 
be guessed at and deep holes, dug to get at the 
foundations, are the only indications of the razed 
building's site. To give an idea of the quantity of 
material used for the dam in the river Opak, I 
transcribe the measurements of its revetments : 35 
metres on the left and from 50 to 60 metres on the 
right bank ; the facings, running up to a height of 
6 metres, make it evident beyond doubt where the 
stone for that work was quarried. Neither are we 
quite sure that such frightful spoliation belongs 
wholly to the past. The value of Government 
• solicitude, so eloquently paraded in circulars and 
colonial reports, can be gauged from the fact, stated 
by Mr. L. Serrurier, that, during officially sanctioned 
excavations among the ruins of the chandis Plahosan 
and Sewu, the stones brought to the surface were 
simply thrown pell-mell on a heap without their 
being marked as to locality and position, quite in 
keeping, it should be added, with the prevailing 

This accounts for the sad desolation, more pitiful 
since soi-disant archaeologists got their hands in, 
shone upon at the chandi Sewu as at the chandis 
Plahosan, Sari, Kalasan, Panataran, to restrict 
myself to one name from East Java, — shone upon 
by the sun, the egg of the world, whose yolk holds 
the germ of creation, Surya, the solar orb personi- 
fied, is a companion wonderfully, grandly suggestive 
among the "thousand temples" of life accomplished. 


decaying into new birth, whether he scorches the 
earth and withers the drooping flowers, or climbs a 
dim, hazy sky to attract the vapours that descend 
again in precious showers when the clouds collect 
and cover the stars, charming from darkness the 
lovely dawn and budding day. The meditations he 
disposes the mind to are mostly directed to the 
future, dreams of coming happiness, and even the 
contemplative Buddhist images under the Banaspatis 
seem agitated by their knowledge of a promise 
excelling the hope of Nirvana, which cannot satisfy 
the aspirations of the children of this island, full of 
the joy of existence. What will the future bring 
to them, the people cradled in tempest, who were 
taught forbearance by a creed profoundly imbued 
with the inner nature of things, and submission 
when misery of war and pestilence came as the 
harbingers of bondage to an alien race ? Too. trust- 
ful, they sacrificed their birthright for a mess of 
pottage and after the encroachments of the Com- 
pany, past ages crowding on their memory, the 
felicity of the j'aman buda assumes to their imagina- 
tion a tangible shape in the ancient monuments 
founded by the rulers of their own flesh and blood, 
edifices so widely different from the meretricious 
Government opium-dens and Government pawn- 
shops in which the predatory instinct of the present 
masters manifests itself — layin dahulu, layin seka- 
rang} Resigned to fate, which wills the mutability 
of earthly relations, the Javanese philosopher — and 

' Different of yore, different now. 


all Javanese are philosophers in their way — takes 
the practical view of the Vedantins, considering that 
calamities mean purification to the victor in moral 
contest, and looking for a serene morning after a 
night of distress. He has more beliefs than one to 
draw upon when seeking refuge in his cherished 
maxim, his phlegmatic apa boleh buwat^ and doubts 
not the possibility of obtaining a Moslim equivalent 
for the Buddhist arahat, the perfect state, irrespec- 
tive of outward conditions, by the help of a Hindu 
deity, Ganesa, who knows what is to happen and, 
as Vinayaka, the guide, conquers obstacles hurtful 
to his votaries in the course of events preordained 
according to their Islamic doctrine — syncretism yet 
more complex than that of their forefathers of Old 
Mataram ! Watch well the heart, commanded the 
master. As to the watched heart dominating the 
senses, the Javanese, rather a mystic than an ascetic, 
and predominantly a child of nature, whence he 
proceeds and whither he returns in his search of the 
divine, prefers enjoyment of the world's fullness to 
mortification of the flesh. He feels much more 
closely drawn to Padmapani, the lord of the world 
that is, than to any other of the emanations of the 
essence of the Universe, be it Diansh Pitar or the 
One, the Eternal, who sent Muhammad as a mercy 
to all creatures, or the Adi- Buddha, the primitive; 
the primordial, the incarnate denial of god and soul 
together. Whatever he prays by, the deity involved 
is one of overflowing gladness, who presents a flower 

^ There is no help for it ; lit. " what can be done ? " 

2o6 MONUMENTAL JAVA chap, vn 

with each hand, like Surya when circling land and 
sea and air in three steps ; and, notwithstanding 
his sorrows, he rests content with his portion for, 
though the light of day sets, it will rise again in 



The goodly works, and stones of rich assay, 
Cast into sundry shapes by wondrous skill, 
That like on earth no where I reckon may ; 

Edmund Spenser, Faerie Qtieene, Canto X. 

Among the ancient monuments of Insulinde^ the 
chandi Boro Budoor staLiiAs facile princeps. Situated 
in the Kadu, it is easily reached from Jogjakarta, about 
twenty-five miles, or from Magelang, about eighteen 
miles distant, by carriage or, still more easily, by 
taking the steam-tram which connects those two 
provincial capitals and leaving the cars at Moontilan 
where an enterprising Chinaman provides vehicles, 
at short notice, for the rest of the journey via the 
chandi Mendoot on the left bank of the Ello, just 
above its confluence with the Progo. No better 
approach to the most consummate achievement of 
Buddhist architecture in the island or in the whole 
world, can be imagined than this one, which leads 

1 The very appropriate name bestowed on the Dutch East Indies by 
Eduard Douwes Dekkbr (Multatuh), Holland's greatest writer of the 
preceding century. 



past the smaller but scarcely less nobly conceived 
and conscientiously executed temple, a commensur- 
ate introduction to the wonderful, crowning edifice 
across the waters, portal to the holiest in gradation 
of majestic beauty. The Kadu has been well styled 
the garden of Java, as Java the pleasance of the 
East, full of natural charms which captivate the 
senses, abounding in amenities soothing to body 
and soul ; but if it had nothing more to offer than 
the Boro Budoor and the Mendoot, it would reward 
the visitor to those central shrines of Buddhism far 
beyond expectation. 

Behind the horses, a mental recapitulation of the 
characteristics of Hindu and Buddhist architecture 
in the golden age of Javanese art will not come 
amiss, and there may be some wonder that with 
so much veneration for the Bhagavat in friendly 
competition with the Jagad Guru, nowhere in the 
negri Jawa an imprint is shown of the blessed foot 
of promise, with the deliverer's thirty-first sign, 
the wheel of the law on the sole. If, in explanation, 
it should be adduced that he never travelled to those 
distant shores, what does that matter.? Has he 
been in Ceylon ? And how then about the sripada, 
the record left there as in so many other countries, 
with the sixty-five hints at good luck ? While we 
revolve such questions, our carriage rolls on ; the 
coachman cracks his whip, evidently proud of his 
skill in turning sharp corners without reining in ; 
the runners jump with amazing agility off and on 
the foot-board and crack their whips, rush to the 


front to encourage the leaders of the team up steep 
inclines, fall again to the rear when it goes down 
hill in full gallop. The exhilarating motion makes 
the blood tingle in the veins. How lovely the 
landscape, the valley shining in the brilliant light 
reflected from the mountain slopes, . . . 

Another turn and we dash like a whirlwind past 
the kachang-(x\^ and boongkiP mill of Mendoot ; 
still another turn and, with a magnificent display of 
his dexterity in pulling up, our Jehu brings us to a 
sudden standstill before the temple. Opposite is a 
mission - school conducted for many years, with 
marked success, by Father P. J. Hoevenaars, in his 
leisure hours an ardent student of Java's history 
and antiquities, ever ready to apply the vast amount 
of learning accumulated in his comprehensive read- 
ing on a solid classical basis, to the clearing up 
of disputed points, though his modesty suffered the 
honours of discovery to go to the noisy players of 
the archaeological big drum. His large stock of 
information was and is always at the disposal of 
whoever may choose to avail himself of it and, 
writing of the chandis Mendoot and Boro Budoor, 
I acknowledge gratefully the benefit derived from 
my intercourse with this accomplished scholar, lately 
transferred to Cheribon. 

The exact date of the birth of the chandi 

^ General name given to various plants of the bean family ; the kachang 
here meant, is the kachang china or tana,h {Arachis hypogcua) the oil of which 
is used as a substitute for olive-oil. 

'^ The beans or nuts pressed into cakes and used as manure, especially in 
the cultivation of sugar-cane. 



Mendoot is unknown but there are reasons for 
believing that it was built shortly after the chandi 
Boro Budoor, at some time between 700 and 850 
Saka (778 and 928 of the Christian era), in the 
glorious period of Javanese architecture to which 
we owe also the Prambanan group, the chandis 
Kalasan, Sewu and whatever is of the best in the 
island. There are additional reasons for believing 
that the splendour loving prince who ordered the 
Boro Budoor to be raised and under whose reign 
the work on that stupendous monument was begun, 
founded the Mendoot too as a mausoleum to 
perpetuate his memory, and that his ashes were 
deposited in the royal tomb of his own designing 
before its completion. If so, he was one of the most 
prolific and liberal builders we have cognisance of; 
but his memory is nameless and all we know of him 
personally, besides the imposing evidence to his 
Augustan disposition contained in the superb 
structures he left, rests upon two pieces of sculpture 
at the entrance to the inner chamber of the 
mortuary chapel, if such it be, which represent a 
royal couple with a round dozen of children, just as 
we find in some old western churches the carved 
or painted images of their founders' families.^ We 
are perhaps indebted for the preservation of these 
suggestive reliefs to the circumstance of the chandi 
Mendoot having been covered, hidden from view 
during centuries and to a certain extent protected 

'. According to another explanation they represent King Sudhodana and 
Queen Maya with Siddhartha, the future Buddha, as a baby in her arms, which 
leaves us in the dark about the other children. 








V' ^^xmSSWl^ 














against sacrilegious hands by volcanic sand, earth 
and vegetation. Almost forgotten, its slumbers 
were, however, not wholly undisturbed for, when 
Resident Hartman, his curiosity being excited by 
wild tales, began to clear it in 1836, he found that 
treasure-seekers, out for plunder, had pierced the 
wall above the porch and that by way of consolation 
or out of vexation at missing the untold wealth 
reported to be buried inside, they had carried ofif or 
smashed the smaller, free standing statuary. The 
process of cleaning up rather stimulated than pre- 
vented new outrages : stripped of its covering of 
detritus, which had shielded it at least against petty, 
casual pilfering, the chandi Mendoot excited by 
its helpless beauty the most injurious enthusiasm. 
Fortunately, the statues which ' formed its chief 
attraction were too big for the attentions of the 
long-fingered gentry whose peculiar methods in 
dealing with native art strongly needed but never 
experienced repression by the local authorities. 

Speaking of the statuary and comparing it with 
Indian models, more particularly a four-armed image,- 
seated cross-legged on a lotus, the stem of which 
is supported by two figures with seven -headed 
snake-hoods, Fergusson says : The curious part of 
the matter is, that the Mendoot example is so very 
much more refined and perfect than that at Karli. 
The one seems the feeble effort of an expiring art, 
the Javan example is as refined and elegant as 
anything in the best age of Indian sculpture. Of 
the Mendoot carvings, however, more anon. I 


shall first endeavour to give a general idea of this 
temple which, according to the same writer, though 
small, is of extreme interest for the history of 
Javanese architecture. Rouffaer calls it the classic 
model of a central shrine with substructure and 
churchyard, while observing that the principal 
statue of the Boro Budoor, the rest of whose statues 
are turned either towards one of the cardinal points 
or towards the zenith, faces the east and the Men- 
doot opens to the west, the two temples there- 
fore fronting each other. Closely observed, the 
latter proved of double design since it consists of a 
stone outer sheath, built round an older structure 
of brick, the original form with its panellings, 
horizontal and perpendicular projections, having 
been scrupulously followed. The neatly fitting 
joints, both of the hewn stones and of the bricks 
of the interior filling, show a mastery of constructive 
detail rarely met with at the present day and 
certainly not in Java. To this wonderful technique, 
adding solidity to a graceful execution of the ground- 
plan, belongs all the credit for the Mendoot hold- 
ing out, notwithstanding persistent ill-usage. An 
ecstatic thought brightly bodied forth by a daring 
imagination and astonishing skill, a charming act 
of devotion blossoming from the flower-decked soil 
as the lotus of the good law did from the garden 
of wisdom and universal love, it must have looked 
grandly beautiful in its profuse ornament, which 
taught how to be precise without pettiness, how 
to attain the utmost finish without sacrificing the 


ensemble to trivial elaboration. Yet this gem of 
Javanese architecture seemed destined to complete 
destruction. Its pitiful decay did not touch the 
successors of Resident Hartman. When, in 1895, 
after several years' absence from the island, I came 
to renew acquaintance, it had visibly crumbled 
away ; official interference with " collectors " limited 
itself to notices, stuck up on a bambu fence, warning 
them of the danger they ran from the roof falling 
in. It needed two years more of demolition, the 
walls bulging out, the copings tumbling down, before 
the correspondence, opened in 1882 anent a desir- 
able restoration, produced some result ; before the 
Mendoot, the jewelled clasp of that string of pearls, 
the Buddhist chandis pendent on the breast of Java 
from the Boro Budoor, her diamond tiara, was 
going to be refitted. 

And how.? It is an unpleasant tale to tell : after 
two decades of consideration and reconsideration, 
in the fourth year of the preliminary labours of 
restoration, the local representative of the Depart- 
ment of Public Works, put in charge of the job 
as a side issue of his already sufficiently exacting 
normal duties, aroused suspicions concerning his 
competency in the archaeological line. An alterca- 
tion with Dr. Brandes, followed, by more controversy 
de viva voce, in writing and in print, led to com- 
pliance with his request that it might please his 
superiors to relieve him from his additional and 
subordinate task as reconstructor of ancient monu- 
ments. From that moment, January 2, 1901, until 


May I, 1908, absolutely nothing was done and 
the scaffoldings erected all round the building were 
suffered to rot away, symbolic of the extravagant 
impecuniosity of a Government which never cares 
how money is wasted but always postpones needful 
and urgent improvements till the Greek Kalends 
on the plea of its chronic state of kurang wang} 
When most of the fl. 8600, fl. 7235, fl. 25142 and 
fl. 4274, successively wrung from Parliament for ex- 
cavations and restoration, had been squandered on 
what Dr. Brandes considered to be bungling patch- 
work, the expensive, useless scaffoldings, becoming 
dangerous to the passers-by in their neglected state, 
necessitated the disbursement, in 1906, of fl. 350 for 
their removal. On the continuation of the work, 
in 1908, by other hands, of course a new one, 
also of teak-wood, had to be erected. And, the 
restoration once more being under way on the 
strength of fl. 6800 grudgingly allotted, Parliament 
decided finally that no sufficient cause had been 
shown to burden the colonial budget with the sum 
which, according to an estimate of 19 10, was required 
to bring it to an end ! The profligately penurious 
mandarins of an exchequer exhausted by almost 
limitless liberality in the matter of high bounties, 
subsidies, allowances,, grants for experiments which 
never lead to anything of practical value ; in the 
matter of schemes which cost millions and millions 
only to prove their utter worthlessness, — the penny- 

' Lacking money and wanting money, always more money : a summary of 
Dutch colonial policy as it strikes the native. 


wise, pound-foolish heads refused, after an expendi- 
ture of fl. 52401 to little purpose, to disburse 
fl. 2 1 700 or even fl. 7000 more for the completion 
of the work commenced, this time under guarantee 
of success. Arguments advanced to make them 
revoke their decision, were met with the statement 
that the Government did not intend to deviate from 
the line of conduct, adopted after mature deliberation 
in regard to the ancient monuments of Java, restrict- 
ing its care to preservation of the remains ... a 
characteristic sample of Governmental cant in the 
face of grossest carelessness and the kind of pre- 
servation inflicted on the chandi Panataran or 
wherever its officials felt constrained by public 
opinion to act upon make-believe circulars from 
Batavia and Buitenzorg before pigeon-holing them. 
And so the perplexing inconsistencies of Dutch 
East Indian finance, parsimony playing chassez- 
croisez with boundless prodigality, are faithfully 
mirrored in the tribulations of the chandi Mendoot : 
the reauthorised work of restoration was stopped 
again, on the usual progress killing plea of kurang 
wang, after the adjustment of the first tier above 
the cornice, and the temple, bereft of its crowning 
roof in dagob style, calculated to fix the basic 
conception in the beholder's mind, has in its 
stunted condition been aptly compared to a bird of 
gorgeous plumage, all ruffled and with the crest- 
feathers pulled out. 

The operations were hampered by still other con- 
trarieties. A tremendous battle Tvas waged apropos 


of the question whether or not gaps in the layers 
of stones of the front wall above the porch pointed 
to the existence of a passage or passages for the 
admittance of air and light to the inner chamber ; 
if so, whether or not those passages inclined at an 
angle sufificient to let the sun's rays illumine the 
head of the principal statue in that inner chamber. 
To rehearse the heated dispute is not profitable : 
as usual, after the chandi had fallen into ruin and 
an endless official correspondence had lifted its 
ruin into prominence, archaeological faddists of every 
description tried to acquire fame with absurd 
suggestions and crazy speculations. Leaving their 
theories regarding the inclinations of the axes of 
probable or possible transmural apertures for what 
they are, more instruction is to be derived from the 
decorative arrangements. The inherent beauty of 
the ornament survived happily the injurious effects of 
changing monsoons, of ruthless robbery, of preserva- 
tion in the Government sense of the word. When 
the sun caresses it, the Friendly Day, under the blue 
vault of the all-compassing sky, smiling at this gem 
of human art, offered in conjugal obedience by the 
earth, which trembles at his touch, it seems a sacri- 
ficial gift of reflowering mortality to heaven. In 
art, said Lessing, the privilege of the ancients was to 
give no thing either too much or too little, and the 
remark of the great critic, as here we can see, 
applies to a wider range of classic activity than he 
had in mind. Wherever the ancient artist wrought, 
in Greece or in Java, we find moreover that he 



drew his inspiration directly from nature ; that his 
handiwork reflects his consciousness of the moving 
soul of the world ; that the secret of its imperishable 
charm lies pre-eminently in his keenness of observa- 
tion. To Javanese sculpture in this period may be 
applied what Fergusson remarked of Hindu sculpture 
some thousand years older in date : It is thoroughly 
original, absolutely without a trace of foreign 
influence, but quite capable of expressing its ideas 
and of telling its story with a distinction that never 
was surpassed, at least in India. Some animals, 
such as elephants, deer and monkeys, are better 
represented there than in any sculptures known in 
any part -of the world ; so, too, are some trees and 
the architectural details are cut with an elegance 
and precision which are very admirable. Turning 
to the Mendoot we notice how the sculptors charged 
with its decoration, always truthful and singularly 
accurate in the expression of their thoughts and 
feelings, portrayed their surroundings in outline and 
detail, wrote in bas-reliefs, ornament and statuary 
the history, the ethics, the philosophy, the religion 
of the people they belonged to and materialised their 
splendid dreams for. What conveys a better know- 
ledge of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist system of rules 
for the conduct of life, discipline and metaphysics, 
than their imagery, coloured by the very hue of 
kindliness and eff"acement of self in daily intercourse ; 
what inculcates better the. paramitas, the six virtues, 
and charity the first of them, than their carved 
mementos of the reverence we owe to the life of 


all sentient creatures, our poor relations the animals, 
striving on lower planes to obtain ultimate delivery 
from sin and pain but no less entitled to bene- 
volence than man ? 

As in the decoration of the younger chandis Pana- 
taran and Toompang, fables occupy a prominent 
position in that of the chandi Mendoot. Among 
the twenty - two scenes spread over the nearly 
triangular spaces to the right and left of the staircase 
which ascends to the entrance, eleven on each side, 
partly lost and wholly damaged, are, for instance, 
reliefs illustrative of the popular stories of the 
tortoise and the geese, of the brahman, the crab, 
the crow and the serpents, etc. Of one of them 
only a small fragment is left, representing a turtle 
with its head turned upward, gazing at something 
in the air, whence Dr. Brandes infers its connection 
with the following tale, inserted in the account of 
the concerted action of the animals which conspired 
to kill the elephant, as rendered in the Taniri, an 
old Javanese collection of fables : Once upon a time 
there were turtles who took counsel together about 
the depredations of a ravenous vulture and their 
kabayan (chief of the community) asked : — What do 
you intend to do to escape being eaten by that 
bird ? Accept my advice and lay him a wager that 
you can cross the sea quicker than he ; if he laughs 
at your conceit, you must crawl into the sea where 
the big waves are, except two of you, one who 
stays to start on the race when he begins to fly, 
and one who swims across the day before and waits 


for him at the other side. What do you think, 
turtles ? You cannot lose if you manage this well. — 
Your advice is excellent, answered they, and while 
the kabayan was still instructing them, the vulture 
arrived and demanded a turtle to eat. — What is 
your hurry, spoke the kabayan for them all ; I bet 
you that any one of us can swim quicker across the 
sea than you can fly. — I take that bet, replied the 
vulture, but what shall I have if I win? — If you 
win, you will be at liberty to eat me and my people 
and our children and grandchildren and great-grand- 
children and so on and so on to the end of time ; 
but you must pledge your word that if you lose, you 
will move from here and seek your food elsewhere. 
It is now rather late but to-morrow morning you 
can choose any one of my people you please to 
match your swift flight with. — All right, said the 
vulture and he went to his nest to sleep, but the 
kabayan sent one of his turtle-people across the sea. 
The vulture showed himself again a little after dawn, 
not to waste time, for he felt pretty hungry and the 
sooner he could win the race, the sooner he would 
have breakfast. He did not even take the precau- 
tion to select an adversary among the decrepit and 
slow, so sure was he of his superiority, and, besides, 
all the turtles were so much alike. The kabayan 
counted one, two, three, go ! and the vulture heard 
one of them plunge into the water and he unfolded 
his wings and alighted at the other side in an instant, 
when, lo ! there he saw the beast calmly waiting for 
him. The vulture felt ashamed and moved to a 


distant country for he did not know that he had 
been cheated. And there was only one vulture 
but there were many turtles. And the boar told 
this event to his friends, exactly as the reverend 
Basubarga saw it happen. 

Another fable, still more widely distributed and 
clinching the same moral, is that of the kanchil (a 
small, extremely fleet species of deer) and the snail ; 
travelling to Europe, it is there best known in its 
German form recorded by Jakob and Wilhelm 
Grimm. Of its many variants in the Malay 
Archipelago we may mention the wager between 
a snail and a tiger as to which could most easily 
jump a river; the snail, attaching herself to one 
of her big competitor's paws, wins, of course, and 
convinces the terror of the woods by means of his 
hairs adhering to her body, that she is accustomed 
to feed on his kind, two or three per diem, freshly 
killed, whereupon the tiger leaves off blustering and 
sneaks away.^ The prose version of the Tantri 
which, somewhat different from the two metrical 
readings known to us, contains the vulture and turtle 
incident, dates probably from the last half of the 
Mojopahit period and is therefore at least four 
centuries younger than the chandi Mendoot, so that 

'^ The influence of eastern fables on western literature and art in all its 
branches cannot be overestimated as exemplified for instance, with special 
relevance to the one just referred to, by the late Emm. Poire (Caran d'Ache) 
when he made our old fiiend Marius imitate the snail's braggadocio in his 
delightful cartoon Les Pantoufles en peau de tigre (Lundis du Figaro). And 
the story of the vulture and the turtles found its way, via American plantation 
legends, into J. C. Harris' tales of Uncle Remus. Concerning the manner 
of the " Migration of Fables " from East to West, most interesting particulars 
can be found in Max Muller's Chips from a German Workshop, iv., p. 145 ff. 


its author and the sculptors of the scenes from 
popular beast-stories on the temple's walls, must 
have had access to a common stock of ancient fables. 
All turned it to best advantage and the decorators 
of this splendid edifice seized their opportunity to 
let the men and apimals they carved in illustration 
of their national literature, express what they had 
to say in their passionate overflow of the creative 
instinct. They gave their narrative a frame in 
ornament of dazzling beauty, sweetly harmonious 
with the moral of the lessons they taught, stirring 
to deepest emotion ; they cased thoughts of happiest 
purport in shrines embossed and laced with fretwork 
more suggestive of ivory than of stone. They 
adorned the Mendoot as a bride, to be displayed 
before her husband, the Boro Budoor, revelling in 
the fanciful idea which makes the saktis of the 
Dhyani Buddhas carry budding flowers to honour 
incarnate love. The wealth of statuary, while 
orthodox Buddhism did not admit the worship of 
images either of a saintly founder of temples or of 
his saintly followers ; the deities with the attributes 
of Doorga, Siva and Brahma, who diversify the 
ornament of the exterior walls, from which right 
distribution of lines and surfaces may be learnt in 
rhythmical relation to contour and dimension, are 
further indications of the syncretism signalising the 
tolerance, the fraternal mingling of different creeds 
in the distant age of Mataram's vigour and artistic 

The religious principles underlying that empire's 


greatness and providing a basis for a firm sense 
of duty to guide a temperament of fire, are nobly 
embodied in the three gigantic statues placed in the 
inner chamber of the Mendoot or, to be quite exact, 
round which that chandi was reared, for the entrance 
is too small to let them through, especially the 
largest of them which, miraculously undamaged 
save one missing finger-tip, has slid down from its 
pedestal and consequently occupies a lower station 
between the subordinate figures than originally 
intended. All three are seated and the first in 
rank, of one piece with his unembellished throne, 
measures fourteen feet ; the two to his right and 
left, of less grave aspect, wearing richly wrought 
necklaces, armlets, wristbands, anklets and tiaras, 
measure eight feet each. If the oorna} more 
excellent than a crown, identifies the master among 
them, the position of whose fingers reminds of 
Vajrochana, the first Dhyani Buddha, the others 
have been taken respectively for a Bodhisatva and 
for a devotee who attained by his meritorious life 
a high degree of saintliness but whose Brahmanic 
adornment flatly contradicts the Buddhist character 
of such perfection. This explanation is therefore 
considered unsatisfactory and unacceptable by many, 
as, for instance, his Majesty Somdetch Phra Para- 
mindr Chulalongkorn, the late King of Siam, who, 
by the way, when visiting the chandis Mendoot 
and Bore Budoor in 1896, claimed those masterpieces 
of makayanistic art for his own, the southern church, 

' The Buddha's characteristic tuft or bunch of hairs between the eyebrows. 



a; M 
O ;j 

M "I 

a (3 





to use the incorrect but convenient distinction. 
According to this royal interpreter, the idea was to 
represent the Buddha in the act of blessing the 
Buddhist prince who ordered the Borp Budoor to 
be built, here placed at his right with an image of 
the deliverer in his makuta and carrying no upawita 
but a monk's robe under the insignia of his dignity ; 
the third statue, directly opposite, at the Buddha's 
left, without Buddhist accessories but with an upawita 
hanging down from its left shoulder, might imper- 
sonate him again in his state before conversion, or 
his unconverted father on whom, after death, he 
wished to bestow a share in the deliverer's benedic- 
tion. However this may be, there is no doubt of 
the Enlightened One's identity in one of his many 
personifications and, leaving the eighty secondary 
marks unexplored (three for the nails, three for the 
fingers, three for the palms of the hands, three for 
the forty evenly set teeth, one for the nose, six for 
the piercing eyes, five for the eyebrows, three 
for the cheeks, nine for the hair, ten for the lower 
members in general, — without our entering into 
further detail !), the thirty-two primary signs are all 
present : the protuberance on the top of the skull ; 
the crisped hair (of a glossy black which the sculptor 
could not reproduce) curling towards the right ; ^ 
the ample forehead ; the oorna, which sheds a white 
light (also unsculpturable) as the sheen of polished 

1 In consequence of the young enthusiast Sarvarthasiddha cutting his long 
locks with his sword when leaving his father's palace to adopt the life of a 
recluse as Sakyamuni, the solitary one of the Sakyas, and meditate upon the 
redemption of the world. 


silver or snow smiled upon by the sun ; etc. Though 
the colossal statue of the welcome redeemer, like 
those of the worshipping kings, does not recommend 
itself by faultless modelling, it breathes the spirit 
which sustains the arahat, him who becomes worthy ; 
it radiates the tranquil felicity of annihilation of 
existence, sin, sorrow and pain ; it promises the 
final blowing out of life's candle, the Nirvana, when 
the understanding will, be reached of the Adi- 
Buddha, the primitive, primordial, immeasurable. 
And the lowest of the four degrees of the Nirvana, 
it seems to say, is already attainable on earth by 
emancipation from the bondage of fleshly desire 
and vice, by avoidance of that which taints and 
corrupts. . . . The noonday glare, subdued by the 
heavy shadow of the porch, fills the sanctuary with 
a golden haze and upon its dimly gleaming wings 
a faint music descends, a song of deliverance. The 
psalmist's visions of the covering of iniquity compass 
us about and invite to recognition of a common 
source of divine inspiration in mankind of whatever 
creed. The scent of the melati and champaka flowers, 
strewn at the feet and in the lap of the deity — the 
image of him who taught that there is none such, 
and revered by professed believers in the Book 
which consigns idolaters to hell-fire ! — mingles with 
the pungent odour of the droppings of the bats, 
fluttering and screeching things in the dark recesses 
of the roof, disturbed in their sleep. Truly there 
ought to be a limit to syncretism and this last 
mentioned mixture of heterogeneous elements soon 


affects the visitor in a manner so offensive that 
retreat becomes a matter of necessity. 

As we step outside, our eyes are blinded by the 
burning light inundating the valley, the fiery fiirnace 
ablaze at the foot of mountains flaming up to the 
sky, a terror of beauty : Think of the fire that 
shall consume all creation and early seek your 
rescue, said the Buddha. It .^peafcy to us of the 
cataclysm which shook Java on her foundation in 
the waters and upset the work of man, killing him 
in his thousands and burying his temples, the 
Mendoot and many, many more, under the ashes of 
her volcanoes, some such upheaval as when the 
conflict began between the Saviour of the World 
and the Great Enemy, to quote from the sacred 
scriptures ; when the earth was convulsed, the sea 
uprose from its bed, the rivers turned back to their 
sources, the hill-tops fell crashing to the plains ; 
when the day at length was darkened and a host of 
headless spirits rode upon the tempest. Though 
the ground has also been raised by the drift down 
the slopes of the Merapi, by the overflowing runnels 
discharging their load of mud into the Ello and the 
Progo, the magnitude of volcanic devastation can 
be gauged from the difference in level between 
the base of the chandi and the site of the kampong 
higher up, under which the platform extends where- 
on its subsidiary buildings stood. Excavations in 
the detritus have already resulted in the discovery 
of portions of a brick parapet once enclosing the 
temple grounds ; of vestiges of smaller shrines in 



the east corner of the terrace and of a cruciform 
brick substructure to the northeast with fragments 
of bell-shaped chaityas ; ^ of a Banaspati, probably 
from the balustrade of the staircase, and detached 
stones with and without sculptured ornament, which 
revealed the former existence of several miniature 
temples surrounding the central one. At the time of 
my last visit (which came near terminating my career 
in my present earthly frame, through the rotten scaf- 
folding giving way under my feet when ascending 
to the roof), more than half of the space conjecturally 
encompassed by the parapet, still awaited explora- 
tion, and since then restoration, within the limits of 
the scanty sums allowed, seems to have superseded 
excavation. In connection with both, the names 
should be mentioned of P. H. van der Ham, who 
did wonders with the little means at his disposal, and 
C. den Hamer, who showed that the decoration of 
the Mendoot too was not completed before the 
great catastrophe which devastated Central Java 
and stopped architectural pursuits.^ 

Reviewing the history of the ancient monuments 
of the island, not one can pass without a repetition 
of the sad tale of spoliation. However unpleasant 
it be to record in every single instance the culpable 
negligence of a Government stiffening general 
indifference and almost encouraging downright 
robbery, the rapid deterioration of those splendid 

' The words chaitya and dagob are often used indiscriminately and every 
dagob is, in fact, a chaitya, but a chaitya is a dagob only if it contains a relic 

^ De Tjandi Mendoet v66r de Restauraiie, publication of the Bataviaasch 
Genootschap, 1903. 


edifices allows no alternative in the matter of 
explanation. When officials and private individuals 
of the ruling race set the example, the natives saw 
no harm in quarrying building material on their own 
account for their own houses, and they had no time 
to lose in the rapid process of the razing of their 
chandis for the adornment of residency and assistant- 
residency gardens, the construction of dams, sugar- 
mills and indigo factories. Temple stones have 
been found in many villages round the Mendoot 
and particularly in Ngrajeg, about two miles 
distant on the main road, there is no native dwelling 
in the substructure of which they have not been 
used.^ Though the wealth of the dessa Ngrajeg in 
this respect may be explained by its once having 
boasted its own ckandi, of which nothing remains 
but the foundations, there is abundant proof that 
the chief quarry of the neighbourhood on this side 
of the river was the Mendoot as the Boro Budoor 
on the other. From a juridical standpoint, the 
natives in possession of such spoil, acquired by 
their fathers or grandfathers, have a prescriptive 
right on it not disputable in law, averred the 
administration at Batavia, and so whatever the 
architects in charge of the restoration needed, had 
to be bought back and diminished still further the 
disposable funds. Leaving the doubtful points of 
this legal question and the enforcement in practice 
of the theoretical decision for what they are worth to 

1 Major VAN Ekp, in the Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkm- 
kunde, 1909. 


Kromo or Wongso, ordered to part with his door- 
step or coinings, there is no doubt that it is illegal and 
highly censurable to demolish temples, and temples 
like the Mendoot at that, to secure building material 
for Government dams and bridges. What happened 
in Mojokerto with the bricks of Mojopahit and has 
been complained of elsewhere, I saw happen in 
1885 with Mendoot stones, freely used for abut- 
ments, piers, spandrel fillings, etc., when near by 
the spanning of the Progo was in progress. That 
bridge^ has since succumbed like the railway bridge 
then in course of construction farther down the 
Progo, a warning which, if heeded, might have 
prevented, for instance, the chronic misfortunes of 
the railway bridge in the Anei gorge, West Coast of 

With Government bridges lacking the strength 
to resist the impetuosity of more than ordinarily 
boisterous freshets, there may always be a surprise 
in store for the pilgrim to the Boro Budoor who has 
arrived at the first station, the Mendoot : will, he or 
will he not find the means to cross ? For, in time 
of banj'ir, i.e. when the river is in spate, the primitive 
ferry which maintains the communication in lieu of 
better, a bambu raft or two frail barges fastened 
together, fails as to both comfort and safety, and 
after heavy rains large groups of men and women 
can often be seen waiting for the turbulent waters 
to quiet down a bit. Lord Kitchener visited the 
Mendoot in December, 1909, during a bridgeless 
spell and conditions generally inauspicious to his 


(C. Nieuwenhuis.) 


proceeding a mile and a half farther to the Boro 
Budoor. Otherwise the being ferried over in 
company of gaily dressed people going to or coming 
from market with fruit, garden produce and all sorts 
of merchandise for sale or bought, has its compensa- 
tions ; rocked by the eddying stream which glides 
swiftly between its steep banks, our dominating 
sensation is one of joy in the splendour of unstinted 
light, of freedom from the petty torments of every- 
day routine, — and let worry take care of itself! As 
we climb the opposite shore, comes the mysteriously 
grateful feeling of being enveloped in the soil's 
genial exhalation of warm contentment, the fertile 
earth's response to the passionate embrace of 
the sun. Their espousal, their connubial ardour 
appears incorporate in the chandi Dapoor,^ a 
petrified spark of universal love, a wonder of 
structural and decorative skill in a shady grove 
some hundred paces to the right of the road.^ And 
again the spiritus mundi is symbolically interpreted 
in the story of yond temple betrothed and wedded 
to the tree. They were very much smitten with 
each other, the chandi Pawon and a randu alas^ 
living in the hamlet Brajanala. They married and 
the pretty comedy of affection turned into tragedy : 
as chances very often in the case of a weaker and a 

''■ Dapoor means " a producer of heat ", "a place where things are produced 
by heat ", hence an oven, a kitchen, the pritning-hole of a gun. 

^ Before the road was relocated to correspond with the relocation of yet 
another new bridge after the last but one's tumbling down, the chandi 
Dapoor stood almost at the wayside ; its having been smuggled out of sight 
has not improved its chances of preservation. 

^ Bombax malabaricum of the numerous Malvaceae family. 


stronger partner in the matrimonial game, the latter 
throve and prospered at the expense of the former. 
Now of his brothers there were and still are many 
exactly like him, but of her sisters there were only 
few and none of her peculiar kind of beauty, and 
since it seemed a pity that she should waste her 
singular comeliness in supporting a husband of no 
particular worth for all his bigness and parade of 
protecting her, a divorce was resolved upon which 
meant his sentence of death. Voices in favour 
of reprieve or commutation of the penalty were 
disregarded : what did one randu alas more or 
less matter compared with the preservation of the 
exquisite chandi Pawon, sole surviving representa- 
tive of her class ? So the tree was cut down and she 
escaped happily the fate which overtook the chandis 
Perot and Pringapoos, The chandi Pawon was 
even wholly restored ; its foundations, sapped by a 
tangle of roots, relaid ; its roof reconstructed.^ In 
its graceful proportions a striking illustration of the 
truth that a great architect can show the vast 
range of his art in a very small building, may it 
stand many centuries longer between Mendoot and 
Boro Budoor as the typical expression of Javanese 
thought in Dravidian style ! 

All is quiet and still in the stately avenue of 
kanaris " and few wayfarers are likely to be met, 
except after puasa? " Than longen folke to gon 
on pilgrimages," and the Boro Budoor attracts a 

^ By the architect van der Ham. 

^ Canarium commune, fam. Burceraceae. 

' Or ramelan (ramaMan), the great yearly fast. 


goodly crowd bent on sacrifice to the statue in the 
crowning dagob or to lesser images held in special 
veneration. Such travelling companions, merrily 
but sedately intent on devotional exercise conform- 
able to ancestral custom, notwithstanding Moslim 
doctrine, their forefathers' imaginations tingeing 
their conceptions of life seen and unseen because 
of their forefathers' blood running in their veins, 
increase the cheery solace of abandon to nature, 
facilitate the attainment of a higher sublime condition 
than reached as yet, the third Brahma Vihara 
improved upon by the Buddha, joy in the joy of 
others while earth and vapoury atmosphere mingle 
in fullness of delight, 

. . . in un tepor di sole ocdduo 
ridente a le cerulee solitudini} 

We turn a corner and the road winds up a hill. 
That hill is the base of the Boro Budoor, the long 
desired, suddenly extending his welcome, majestic, 
overwhelmingly beautiful. It is a repetition on a 
much grander scale, much more magical, of the effect 
produced by the chandi Derma bursting upon our 
view in its sylvan frame, reality taking the semblance 
of a glorious dream. I n the waning light of evening 
the polygonous pyramid of dark trachyte appears as a 
powerful vision of the mystery of existence shining 
through a veil of translucent gold. Gray cupolas, 
raised on jutting walls and projecting cornices, a 
forest of pinnacles pointing to heaven, gilded by 

1 ... in the soft rays of the setting sun 
Smiling at the cerulean solitudes. 

232 MONUMENTAL JAVA chap, vm 

the setting sun, reveal perspectives of boundless 
immensity, vistas of infinite distance. The brilliancy 
of heaven, reflected by this mass of forceful imagery, 
this conquering thought worked in solid stone, 
receives new lustre from the dome-encircled funda- 
mental idea so mightily expressed. Nowhere has 
art more ably availed herself of the possibilities of 
site and more felicitously combined with natural 
scenery, created a more harmonious ensemble than 
in the amazingly original design and delicate 
execution of this puissant temple, this gift of the 
Javanese Buddhists to posterity, a source of spiritual 
quickening to whoso tries to understand. 



. . . la vdritd rendue expressive et parlante, 61ev6e k la hauteur 
d'une id6e. Ernest Renan, Vie de Jdsus {Introduction). 

The pasangrahan, built for the convenience of 
visitors to the Boro Budoor, offers fair accommoda- 
tion to the student of oriental architecture and lover 
of art in whatever form. Also to a good many who 
feel it incumbent on them to be able to say : "I have 
taken everything in," or who have quite other ends 
in view than communion with the thought of distant 
ages : foreign tourists whose principal care is to 
exhibit trunks and travelling-bags covered with 
labels of out-of-the-beaten-track hotels while their 
brains remain hopelessly empty; junketers of 
domestic growth, often in couples whose irregular 
relations seek shelter behind the excuse of "doing" 
the island, and heartily disinclined to practise the 
virtues preached in the reliefs of the shrine of 
shrines, particularly down on continence. So even 
the Philistines derive advantage, after the notions 
of their kind, from the ramshackle fabric of vile 



heathenism, as this magnificent temple has been 
called by one of their number, and its visitors' book 
tells a sorry tale of irreclaimable vulgarity ; the wit, 
laboriously aimed at in many entries, but widely 
missed, partakes altogether too much (minus the 
element of badinage) of the answer given by a 
young naval officer to an old aunt when she asked 
him where, in his opinion, the most striking natural 
scenery of Java was to be found : At Petit Trou- 
ville,^ said he, on Sunday in the dry season. 

The pasangrahans guests of that ilk are generally 
no early risers and their company is therefore not 
likely to mar the impression received of the Boro 
Budoor at second sight after supper, supplied by 
the army pensioner in charge of the place, and 
a night's sound rest. Looking tranquillity itself, 
the vast pile charms and soothes the heart, notwith- 
standing its enormous size, before the intellect, 
scrutinising its outline, begins to marvel at the un- 
accustomed form the builder has chosen to proclaim 
his idea. Save one or two temples in hinayanistic 
Burmah, which present a faint resemblance, nothing 
else can be named as producing the same effect, 
but then, wrote Fergusson for the land where the 
creed was born that inspired its founder, it must be 
remembered that not a single structural Buddhist 
building now exists within the cave region of Western 

^ Such is the name given to a stretch of beach, not for from Tanjoong Priok, 
the harbour of Batavia, much resorted to, for bathing and advertisement, by 
that city's frail sisterhood, and Batavians will appreciable the young naval 
officer's bon mot better than did his aunt, a provincial spinster, when at length 
she fathomed it. 


India. Rising light and airy for all its grandeur, it 
expresses more strength than a mere massing to- 
gether of the ponderous material in huge walls and 
buttresses and towers could have done ; its quiet 
consciousness of power is enhanced by its strange 
beauty of contour in perfect harmony with its setting 
of living colour. There it lies, clasping together the 
sapphire sky and the emerald garden of Java. 

The mahayanistic character of the Boro Budoor 
is well attested by the Dhyani Buddhas among 
its statuary, despite the opinion of Siamese con- 
noisseurs, and by its further ornamental sculpture, 
of which more anon. Meant for a reliquary, it may 
or may not be, in the absence of historical proof 
pro or contra, one of the 84,000 stupas consecrated 
to receive and hold a fractional portion of the 
Indian Saviour's remains after King Asoka had 
opened seven of the depositories of his ashes in 
the eight towns among which his rernains were 
originally divided, to make the whole world share 
in their blessed possession. Who has not heard 
of the transfer, in the ninth year of the reign of 
Sirimeghavanna, a.d. 310, of the Dathadathu, the 
holy tooth, from Dantapura to Ceylon, where it 
became the mascotie, so to speak, the pledge of 
undisturbed dominion to the rulers of the island 
who should control its guardians. The sacrosanct 
yellow piece of dentin, about the length of the little 
finger,^ enclosed in nine concentric cases of gold, 

^ A description, dated October 12, 1858, informs us that the piece of ivory, 
supposed to have garnished the jaw of Gautama, is about the size of the little 


inlaid with diamonds, rubies and pearls, is but rarely 
shown, far more rarely than even the seamless coat 
at Treves, and then under conditions of excessive 
adoration. But, notwithstanding all this pomp and 
circumstance, who that has visited the Dalada 
Malagawa at Kandy and the Boro Budoor in Java, 
can fail to prefer the latter, though sacrilegious 
robbers have carried off its relic, leaving the dese- 
crated shrine to decay. 

The wordy war waged around the etymology of 
the name Boro Budoor, did not solve the mystery 
of its origin ; all derivations thus far suggested 
are mere guess-work and unsatisfactory, whatever 
reasons be adduced for Roorda van Eysinga's 
explanation that it means an enclosed space, or 
Raffles' surmise that it is a corruption of Bara (the 
great) Buddha, or the late King of Siam's that it 
refers to the (spiritual) army of the Buddha, if not to 
the several Buddhas, as alleged by others. One of 
the oldest existing monuments in the island, the 
foundation of the chandi Boro Budoor has been 
attributed by native tradition to Raden Bandoong, 
already known from the legends connected with 
the chandis Prambanan and Sewu, who, as King 
of Pengging, assumed the name of Handayaningrat. 
Professor Kern ^ puts the date of the substructure at 
about 850, allowing several years for its completion 

finger, of a rich yellow colour, slightly curved in the middle and tapering. 
The thickest end, taken for the crown, has a hole into which a pin can be 
introduced ; the thinnest end, taken for the root, looks as if worn away or 
tampered with to distribute fragments of the relic. 

^ Reports and Communications of the Dutch Royal Academy, 1895. 


— if ever it was fully completed, for this temple, 
like the chandi Mendoot near by, the chandi Bimo 
on the Dieng plateau and so many more, shows 
traces of the work having been suspended before 
the decoration was quite finished. Sculpture just 
commenced or little further advanced than the 
bare outlining, found on the walls, especially of 
the covered base; divers blocks of stone half 
transformed into ornament and statuary, Dhyani 
Buddhas and lions, very illustrative of the methods 
followed at different stages of the carving, lying 
forsaken on the slope and summit of a neighbouring 
hillock, disclose an interruption of the labour by 
some event of tremendous consequence.' Rather 
than accept the theory that the ancient temples of 
Java were left intentionally defective from religious 
motives, viz. to emphasise the sense of human 
imperfection as an incentive to humility and prostra- 
tion before the divine, we may believe in the 
Merapi, that wicked old giant, having asserted 
himself in one of his destructive moods, belching 
forth flames and ashes, shaking and burying the 
handiwork of Hindu and Buddhist pygmies with 
strictest impartiality. Standing on the first of the 
highest terraces on the south side, says an article^ 
in the Javapost of December 5, 1903, one observes 

^ According to another explanation these incompleted pieces of sculpture, 
found lying about, were rejected In the building because they did not come up 
to the architect's requirements. 

^ The Ruin of the Boro Budoor or Vandalism, signed Goena Darma. 
It is no indiscretion, I believe, to reveal behind this significant pseudonym 
Father P. J. Hoevenaars, of whose sagacious observations I shall avail 
myself repeatedly in the following account of the temple's history. 


a bulging out of the lower terraces, best accounted 
for by a violent earthquake in a southerly direction. 
When the galleries were cleared in 1814 and 1834, 
the volcanic character of the detritus which filled 
them (ashes from the Merapi, wrote Roorda van 
Eysinga in 1850) and also forms the substratum of 
the rubbish still unremoved from the once enclosed 
grounds of the chandi Mendoot, furnished strong 
evidence in support of an eruption of the nearest 
fire-mountain having been the cause of the pre- 
cipitate flight, perhaps the death in harness, of the 
builders. Of the preservation of their work too, 
in so far as finished, for, to speak again with the 
writer in the Javapost, the very fact of its having 
been embedded has saved much of its artistic 
detail ; and the reason why some of the sculptured 
parts are damaged to a far greater extent than 
others adjoining, is probably that they were exposed 
earlier and longer. Deterioration and demolition 
set in rapidly when wind and weather began to 
ravage the wholly unprotected edifice, when un- 
scrupulous collectors wrought havoc unchecked. 

The Boro Budoor was never hidden from view 
to the point of blotting out its existence from 
memory. I shall have occasion to refer to native 
chronicles mentioning it in the eighteenth century. 
To speak of its rediscovery by Cornelius is there- 
fore inaccurate though we owe to that clever 
Lieutenant of Engineers, purposely sent to the 
Kadu by Raffles, in 18 14, the first scientific survey 
and description with elucidating drawings. Except 


for the publication, in 1873, of Dr. C. Leemans' 
book with an atlas containing illustrations after 
drawings by F. C. Wilsen, and the mission of 
I. van Kinsbergen to obtain photographic repro- 
ductions of the reliefs, the Dutch Government 
left the matchless temple entirely to its fate until 
very recently. An official correspondence, kept 
trailing indefinitely to invest ministerial promises 
regarding the antiquities of Java with a semblance 
of sincerity, had the usual negative effect. When- 
ever a colonial Excellency declared with unctuous 
pomposity that the most conscientious care would 
be taken of the Boro Budoor, a monument of 
incalculable value considered from the standpoint 
of science and art, most brilliant memento of the 
island's historic past, etc., etc., those versed in the 
phraseology of Plein and Binnenhof at the Hague 
trembled in expectation of bad news of criminal 
negligence, theft and mutilation to follow. The 
later history of the "brilliant memento" agrees 
but too well with the ominous prognostics derived 
from such dismal parliamentary fustian. A great 
poet sang of things of beauty scarce visible from 
extreme loveliness : the readily movable things of 
beauty constituting the loveliness of the Boro 
Budoor, became invisible sans phrase. We are 
told in legendary lore of statues which flew 
through the air to take domicile at enormous 
distances from their proper homes, or vanished 
altogether, dissolving into space : the statues of 
the Boro Budoor developed that faculty in an 


astonishing degree ; if handicapped by great weight 
or solid attachment to the main structure, bent on 
travelling a tout travers, they sent their heads alone 
to seek recreation and instruction in the varying 
ways of the world, and their heads did never return, 
either because they were amusing themselves too 
jollily away from the austerities of the eight-fold 
path or because they found themselves unavoidably 
detained in durance vile. 

The remaining, mostly headless statues are sad 
to behold, and the fishy account given of their 
defective condition, that, namely, the Buddhists, 
beleaguered in the sanctuary by the Muhammadans, 
battling pro aris et focis, drove the enemies off 
by bombarding them with the Lord of Victory's 
noble features, hewn in stone, smacks of a too 
ingenious evasion of the disgraceful facts.^ The 
chronicles are silent on such a desperate struggle 
in that locality between the conquering hosts of 
Islam and the followers of him who pleaded peace, 
love and goodwill, whose doctrine and example 
alike forbade strife and armed resistance. Not that 
there has been no fighting round and even within 
the walls of the Boro Budoor among the Javanese 
engaged in internecine warfare and during the 
insurrection of Dipo Negoro,^ but the story of 
the using up of the statuary in the shape of 

1 Invention being stimulated by quasi-historical novels like Gramberg's 

2 Vide De Java-Oorlog, commenced by Captain P. J. F. Louw, continued 
by Captain E. S. de Klerck and published under the auspices of the 
Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, vols. i. and ii. 


missiles, has no leg to stand on. In the Java War 
(182 5-1 830) the Dutch troops erected a temporary 
fort near the temple, but it is improbable that 
chandi material entered into its construction, not 
because the warriors of the Government would 
have scrupled to destroy any ancient monument, 
but because the Boro Budoor stones are exceedingly 
heavy and earthen fortifications amply sufficed 
against native bands without artillery. Though 
cavalry in particular never enjoyed a high reputa- 
tion in respect of their relations to art,^ there does 
not seem to be any more substance in the confession 
of a ci-devant commander of a squadron of hussars, 
cited by Brumund, that his men used to try the 
temper of their swords on the ears and noses of 
the silent host of Dhyani Buddhas when the rebels 
of Sentot and Kiahi Maja were not available. 

The true misfortune of the Boro Budoor was 
official indifference and negligence ; and far more 
injurious than the fretting tooth of time or even 
the merciless hand of the spoiler combined with 
the provoking laissez aller yawned in periodical 
circulars from the central administration, from 
Sleepy Hollow at Batavia, was the dabbling in 
archaeology of ambitious persons who posed as dis- 
coverers, the less their aptitude to digest their 
desultory reading, the more arrogant their cock- 

^ This holds good for western as well as eastern lands and, whether true 
or false, the story of Napoleon's dragoons converting the refectorium of Santa 
Maria delle Grazie at Milan into a stable and adjusting their horses' mangers 
against da Vinci's Cena, expresses very well what cavalry on the warpath are 
capable of. 



sureness where famous scholars reserved their con- 
clusions. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing 
and might have proved disastrous to the venerable 
temple in combination with one of their vaunted 
discoveries, which established beyond doubt what 
not a few knew well enough and never had doubted 
of, viz. that there was a gallery lower than its lowest 
uncovered terrace, wisely filled up to increase the 
stability of the building, very probably soon after or 
even before the erection of the upper storeys. The 
removal of the supporting layers of stone impaired, 
of course, the general condition of the structure and 
the good news of its being again in its former state, 
was received by many with a sigh of relief. This 
happened in 1885 with great flourish of trumpets, and 
the only benefit derived, certainly not of sufficient 
importance to balance the inevitable weakening of 
the foundations attendant on such excavations, con- 
sisted in the bringing to light of rude, scarcely 
decipherable inscriptions or rather scratchings,^ and 
the intelligence that of the photographed sculptures, 
in which, so far, no representation of connected 
events has been recognised, twenty-four are un- 
finished and thirteen damaged — six wholly smashed. 
In 1900 new shafts were sunk for new discoveries of 
the long and widely known, and while this pernicious 
dilettantism was going on, pseudo-archaeologists 
vying with professed iconoclasts who should do 
most harm to the Boro Budoor, the Government 

1 The form of the characters, etc., according to Professor Kern, points 
to about the year 800 Saka (a.d. S78). 
















confined itself to antiquarian pyrotechnics at the 
yearly debates on the colonial budget in Parliament. 
The Boro Budoor being undermined and 
gradually scattered to the four winds, it was but 
natural that the natives, following the example set 
by the elect, even by the elect of the elect acting in 
this or that official capacity, who used, for instance, 
chandi stones for the flooring of the Government 
pasangrahan, — that the inhabitants of the neighbour- 
ing kampongs should carry off what appeared suit- 
able for their own ends, and the least heavy jataka 
reliefs claimed their first attention. So things 
went from bad to worse and the most disastrous 
year, a veritable annus calamitatis for the Boro 
Budoor, arrived with 1896, when the late King of 
Siam paid his second visit to Java. Much interested, 
as was to be expected of a ruler of a Buddhist 
country, in the Buddhist monuments of the island, 
so interested, in fact, that his Majesty tried to put 
the mahayanistic temples of the Kadu to the credit 
of his own, the hinayanistic church, his endeavours 
in this kind of mental annexation inspired authorities, 
eager to share in the honours of Siamese Knight- 
hood (White Elephant, Crown of Siam, etc.) dis- 
tributed with right royal generosity, to urge him to 
annexation in deed. If foreign visitors of little' 
account had been permitted to help themselves in 
a small way to " souvenirs " for a consideration to 
keepers' underlings left without control, why should 
foreign visitors of distinction not be served wholesale? 
His Majesty Chulalongkorn, to whom no blame 


attaches for gratifying his desire where he found 
Dutch functionaries, high and low, more than will- 
ing to oblige, was invited to make his choice and 
we must still thank him for his moderation, which 
limited the quantity of sculpture selected to eight 
cart-loads : there is scarcely a doubt that if he had 
requested them to pull part of the Boro Budoor 
down in consideration of Knight Commander- or- 
Grand Masterships in this or that Order, the 
official conscience would have raised no objection. 
This came to pass, of course, after a more than 
usually fine flow, at the Hague, of ministerial 
rhetoric anent the priceless heritage Holland has to 
protect in the "brilliant mementos of Java's historic 
past," and the lover of ancient Buddhist architecture 
who wants to make a study of its acknowledged 
masterpiece, must now of necessity travel on to the 
banks of the Meynam to get an idea of some of its 
most characteristic imagery, not to speak of frag- 
ments of ornament and statuary removed by tourists 
of commoner complexion and dispersed heaven 
knows where. 

This instance of the ancient monuments of Java 
being officially despoiled to please crowned heads and 
other visitors in exalted stations, pour le bon motif, 
seemed so incredible that, when I censured it in the 
Dutch East Indian Press, the Dutch Press, over- 
zealous in hiding colonial enormities, also pour le 
bon motif, considered it an easy task to deny, 
waxing eloquently indignant at the denunciation 
until in regular, normal sequence, always observable 








in the perennial case of Dutch whitewashing versus 
colonial boldness of speech, the correctness of the 
statement could no longer be assailed, new evidence 
accumulating steadily, Mr. J. A. N. Patijn, for one, 
describing, in the Kroniek and the Tijdschrift voor 
Nederlandsch Indie, a collection displayed near the 
Wat Pra Keo at Bangkok and brought thither 
from Java in 1896/ The frolicking monkeys doubt- 
less, the people of the large cheek-bones, repre- 
sented on some reliefs thus transferred, prompted 
an enthusiastic, genuine archaeologist's imprecation 
on the heads of the guilty official and non-official 
toadies, inasmuch as he wished them, if there be 
anything in the dogma of Karma, which provides 
for our sins being visited on us in lives to come, 
that their least punishment might be their trans- 
formation, when called to new birth, into apes 
abandoned to ceaseless squabbles over their kanari- 
nuts (honours, dignities, preferment with big salaries, 
fat pensions, etc.), clawing one another with their 
sharp nails, to find at last that all the shells are 
empty. Desisting from a profitless discussion on 
the possibilities of retribution in a future existence, 
it requires to be stated that the official mind needed 
several years' reflection in this before reaching the 
conclusion that really, in the matter of the conserva- 
tion of the Boro Budoor something more was wanted 
than the periodical outbursts of gushing sentiment, 
grossly disregarded in practice, which are le moyen 

1 See also the Westminster Review of May and The Antiquary of August, 


de parvenir of Dutch colonial politicians. The inde- 
pendents of the colonial Press, however, had at last 
the satisfaction that Captain T. van Erp of the 
Engineers was detailed to take the work of restora- 
tion in hand, building himself a house in the shadow 
of the chandi confided to his care, anxious to direct 
the necessary labours on the spot. Stationed there 
since August, 1907, his promotion to the rank of 
Major fortunately did not result in the withdrawal of 
his services from the archaeological field and, the 
climax of laxness with regard to the Boro Budoor 
having been capped in the Siamese episode, brighter 
days may dawn for that venerable edifice. 

One of the rooms of the. pasangrahan, reserved, 
under the old dispensation, for the storing of 
detached pieces of sculpture, was called the sample- 
room because, according to current report, orders 
were taken there for the delivery of such still 
undetached ornament and statuary as might have 
struck the visitors' fancy. Other images lined 
the path from the pasangrahan to the temple, 
among them two Dhyani Buddhas, a fine Ak- 
shobhya and a still finer Amitabha, and lions, 
the poor remainder of those which once adorned 
the steps leading to the raised level of the building, 
whence the name : Avenue of Lions. Seemingly 
commanded to descend from the places where 
they kept guard as solitary sentinels, and to unite 
for defence at the point of greatest danger, terrible 
havoc was wrought in their ranks by the onslaught 
of souvenir-hunters, and one of their large-limbed, 



beautifully chiselled chiefs, who himself watched 
the entrance with a vauntful air as if proclaiming 
to foe and friend alike : Et sil nen reste qu'un, moi 
je serai celui-la, had to suffer the ignominy of being 
captured and carried off to Siam — which proves 
his Majesty Chulalongkorn's good taste : it was 
the best specimen of animal carving on that scale 
in Java. These are no cheerful reflections when 
approaching the eminence skillfully converted into 
a stupa whose equal, both in originality of 
design and cleverness of execution, can nowhere 
be found. Though India furnished its prototype, 
the style here evolved baffles, on close examina- 
tion, all comparison. The only building it can 
be likened to is the Taj Mahal at, Agra, and only 
in this single respect while differing in all others, 
that, conceived by a titanic intellect, the delicate 
decoration suggests the minute precision of the 
jeweller's craft. Opening and closing a distinct 
chapter in architecture, this admirable production 
rises in terraces which form galleries round the 
hill-top, enclosed by walls, spaced on the outside 
by 432 niches for statues of the Buddha with 
prabha (aureole) and padmasana (lotus cushion), 
on the inside with representations illustrating sacred 
and profane writings in bas-relief; the galleries 
of the superstructure raised on the square ground- 
plan, become circular and are bounded by 72 bell- 
shaped chaityas containing statues of the Buddha 
without ^x'Cci&c prabha ox padmasana, or any ornament 
whatever. The profuse decoration of their surround- 


ings never detracts from the powerfully expressed 
central idea of praise to the Enlightened One, 
the one who has fulfilled his end ; the repetition 
of the motives manifesting the religious purpose, 
directs rather than confuses the attention of the 
worshipper in their multiformity of application. 
The spiritual father of the Boro Budoor must 
have been a man of strong mental grasp, of honest 
masculine endeavour stimulated by a highly sensi- 
tive temperament; his work, "a goodly heap for 
to behold," growing in dignity and beauty the 
closer it is observed, a realisation of the sublimest 
aspirations of Buddhist Java, will perpetuate also, 
as long as it can endure, the memory of his own 
superior mind. 

The constructive ability of this gifted builder 
was no less wonderful than his mastery of detail 
in aid of his main intent, A clever system of 
drainage attests to the foresight of his workman- 
ship ; but the gutters remaining filled up and the 
gargoyles (open-mouthed nagas) choked after the 
excavation of the galleries in 1814 and 1834, 
without any one thinking of clearing them too, 
the water had to flow off as best it could in the 
torrential rains of successive west monsoons, filtering 
through the fissures between the stones, passing 
down to the foundations and adding, in oozing 
out, to the causes of decay by washing the sup- 
porting layers of earth and gravel away. The 
staircases and passageways to the different terraces 
and galleries are constructed with the accurate 


sense of right proportion which distinguishes the 
natives of the island up to this day, and their naga- 
and kdla-makara ornament belongs to the most 
impressive part of the graceful decoration. In our 
ascent from lower to higher planes of understanding, 
increasing in perception of the mysteries of life 
and death, the Banaspati shows the road, the 
Hindu- Javanese Gorgon's head as Horsfield called 
it, appropriated by Buddhist architecture, figurating 
the terrors of error it faces while budding forth 
in the promise of further guidance for whoso shall 
leave the world's delusions, a loved wife, a young- 
born son, to seek the truth in pursuance of the 
Buddha's ordinance : no intimidation which threatens 
with the pains of hell all who dare to disobey 
the dictates of priestly ambition, but an assurance 
of beatitude gained by self-purification. The stair- 
cases of the superstructure correspond with the 
four approaches leading up the hillock to the 
temple - yard ; in the course of the excavations, 
undertaken to facilitate the work of restoration, 
one of them, very much out of repair, has been 
laid bare. The reconstruction of the lower principal 
staircase, whose original position has now been 
determined, will result, it is hoped, in the removal 
of the unsightly flight of uneven steps masquerading 
as the main entrance at the corner opposite the 
pasangrahan ; and, perhaps, to provide one worthy 
of site and building, the Government will not 
haggle over the modest sum required for the 
re-erection of the monumental gate whose remains 


were discovered adjoining the balustrade of the 
spacious elevated platform. 

On entering the galleries, establishing contact 
with this symmetrical embodiment of highly spiritu- 
alised thought in the strongly knit language of 
chiselled stone, to mount to the state of the perfect 
disciple, spurred by the figured evolution of the 
four degrees of Dhyana which lead to supreme 
happiness, the pilgrim must have experienced, as 
we do, the sensation of physical well-being imparted 
by the splendour of nature wrapping human longings 
in sunshine and the delicious odour exhaled by 
mother earth. The luxurious emotion increases, 
despite nirvanic chastening, and among the serene 
images of the higher terraces, who can remain un- 
moved in contemplation of the ancient temple lifting 
its dagob to the blue heaven, of its hoary walls 
touched by the golden light, quivering in desire 
of sacred communion ! Nor do we cease to marvel 
when turning from the general idea of universal 
solidarity, enunciated in an irreproachable architec- 
tural form, to the expository details of decoration. 
The ornament accommodates itself with amazing 
facility to the characteristic tendencies of the 
ground-plan, never perverting the central purpose, 
which dominates in a most felicitous combination 
of the two principles separately developed for 
western ends in the classic and gothic styles : the 
horizontal expansion to allow thinking space to 
the brain and the mystic pointing upward to satisfy 
the cravings of the heart. Both found application 


in the Boro Budoor, their unity of thought in 
diversity of expression being consolidated by an 
inexhaustible wealth of imagery, elucidating ac- 
cessories, filled as it is "with sculptures rarest, 
of forms most beautiful and strange." Faithful 
in choice of subject and manner of representation 
to the notions of its time, bodying forth things 
unknown to our age, the ornament surprises by 
its fanciful invention and peculiar treatment, though 
always in the best of taste. The heavy cornice 
which protects the lowest uncovered tier of external, 
so far not yet satisfactorily explained reliefs, carries 
the niches for the statues already mentioned. The 
shape of these niches and of the temples delineated 
in the scenery of the carved tales and legends, 
here as at Prambanan, Toompang, etc., afford 
us material assistance in determining after what 
model chandis, long fallen into ruin, were built ; 
they are especially helpful in explaining the often 
puzzling arrangement of the superstructures, hardly 
one being found, even among those best preserved, 
with the roof still intact. Leaving archaeological 
problems alone, modern architects and decorators 
can further derive a good deal of profit from a 
study of the gradation observed in the downward 
radiation of both the architectural and decorative 
conceit centred in the crowning dagob, or, rather, 
the upward convergence in a nobly devised dis- 
tribution of spaces connected aijd entwined by 
cunning ornament, the luxuriant fantasy of the 
sculptor being unerringly controlled by the staid 


design of the builder. A fervent imagination may 
revel in miles of bas-reliefs without surfeit, the 
salutary restraint of a sober outline and a pro- 
portional disposition of the component parts being 
such that the eye never gets tired or the faculty 
of perception cloyed. 

Fergusson, pointing to the identity of workmen 
and workmanship in the sculpture and details of 
ornamentation at the Boro Budoor and at Ajunta 
(cave 26), Nassick (cave 17), the later caves at 
Salsette, Kondoty, Montpezir and other places in 
that neighbourhood, computes that at the former 
the decoration extends to nearly 5000 feet, almost 
an English mile, and, as there are sculptures on 
both faces, we have nearly 10,000 lineal feet of 
reliefs. They numbered 2 141 in all, counting what 
is damaged and altogether lost, but omitting the 
decoration of. the ornamental niches: on the lowest 
wall 408 in the upper and 160 in the lower tier 
outside, 568 inside ; on the second wall, 240 outside 
and 192 inside; on the third wall, 108 outside and 
165 inside; on the fourth wall, 88 outside and 140 
inside ; on the fifth wall, 72 inside. Regarding 
their noble qualities of style and decorative value as 
a component of the general project, the opinion of 
a writer in the Quarterly Review ^ may be quoted, 
who discusses the Boro Budoor's straight lines, its 
untroubled spaces of flat stone, its mouldings; of 
classic simplicity, its' intricate and elaborate bands 
of ornament, held in place by the nice choice of 

' Roger Fry on Oriental Art, January, 1910, 


relief, being low and unaccented, in opposition 
to the deep cutting and full modelling of the panels 
they surround ; and in these panels, he continues, in 
spite of the full roundness of the modelling and the 
wealth of ornamental detail, the unity is maintained 
by a fine sense of rhythm and discreet massing and 
spacing. The upper tier of carvings on the inner 
wall of the first gallery, haut-reliefs in contradistinc- 
tion to the rest, represents the life of the Buddha 
from his birth until his death and is the best pre- 
served. Many of the others have suffered so 
badly that they baffle explanation ; taken on the 
whole, they treat of traditional occurrences in con- 
nection with the Buddha himself or his pre- 
decessors, of gatherings under bo-trees, pilgrimages 
to reliquaries, alms-giving, exhortations to observe 
the law, admonitions to virtue : abstinence, tolerance 
and charity. Animal fables are interwoven with 
jataka-X.2\^s, i.e. narratives concerning the Buddha 
before he appeared as the perfect man, tracing his 
path to holiness in his adventures as a hare, a fish, 
a quail, a swan, a deer, the king of monkeys, an 
elephant, a bull, a wood-pecker, a tortoise, the horse 
Balaha, every metamorphosis serving to illustrate his 
zeal to sacrifice himself for his fellow- creatures and, 
incidentally, stimulating the kindness we owe to our 
poor relations without the power of speech. Pro- 
fessor Speyer's translation of legends collected in the 
Jatakamala (wreath oijatakas) enables us to recog- 
nise in a good many of the reliefs of the Boro Budoor 
the successive stages of the Buddha on the road to 


supreme excellence, the figuration of his progress 
being, largely influenced by ancient Hindu folk-lofe. 
If Ruskin compared St. Mark's at Venice so 
aptly with a vast illuminated missal, bound with 
alabaster instead of parchment, studded with por- 
phyry pillars instead of jewels, and written within 
and without in letters of enamel and gold, in the 
Boro Budoor, a sacred book of volcanic stone, the 
life of the Buddha, before and after he became a son 
of man and man's saviour, lies opened before us : the 
flowery earth and the shining heaven are its binding ; 
Surya, the sun himself, gilds and enamels the letters, 
the images which, in their sculptured frame, not too 
deeply cut and not too rich for a setting, but 
precisely adequate, tell to all creatures the story 
of wisdom and elevation of spirit. The illustration 
of the Lalita Vistara occupies, as already mentioned, 
the upper tier of the inner wall of the first open 
gallery. Walking round in the proper direction, i.e. 
keeping the dagob to the right while moving with 
the sun, we have first a few introductory scenes, 
leading up to the Buddha's advent and preparing 
us for the mystic teachings of an imagery which 
expands simply and naturally between the flowing 
lines of harmonious ornament and speaks to the heart 
as does the sound of running water or the soughing 
of the wind in the tree-tops. Immediately after his 
birth, rising from the white lotus-flower which has 
sprung from the earth at the place touched by his 
feet, Siddhartha, in token of his power over the 
several worlds, paces seven steps to each of the 










cardinal points and to the abode of sin, announcing 
his mission : I shall conquer the Prince of Darkness 
and the army of the Prince of Darkness ; to save 
those plunged into hell, I shall cause rain to descend 
from the huge cloud of the law and they will be 
filled with joy and happiness. He grows and 
marries and leaves his father's palace, moved by the 
misery of the lowly and lost, to gather knowledge 
as Sakyamuni, until, compassing all wisdom, he 
becomes impersonated truth and the great renuncia- 
tion takes place. The closing scene refers to his 
death, to the adoration of the mortal remains of the 
immortal Tathagata, symbolising his course among 
men not as a succession of past acts but as a 
constant one to be imitated by whoso desires the 
reward. Increasing in excellence of design and 
execution the nearer we approach the Holy of 
Holies, the touching tale of a life of sacrifice is told 
with that straightforward simplicity of which only 
the consummate artist possesses the secret. All 
appears so hurnan and real, so inspiringly animated 
by the extreme of vital motion, to use an oriental 
expression, the individuality of the figures being 
always preserved in minutest personal detail without 
the least affectation. Plastic triumphs, emphasising 
the lessons of the sacred books, bring up unto us 
the people of xki&jaman buda, heroes tall and strong 
as palm-trees, virgins lithe and slender as bambu- 
stems, with drooping eyes, shrinking from a too 
inquisitive gaze, with limbs modelled as if they would 
tremble under the pressure of a caressing hand. 


The statues, watching the ascent of the seeker ot 
purification, second the impulse received from the 
reHefs by their tranquil composure, that is in so far 
as they remained at their stations, for their ranks 
are sadly thinned. Aspiring to the holiness figured 
in the images of the higher terraces, to the priceless 
boon of the Nirvana as final blessing, the Dhyani 
Buddhas, sunk in meditation, girding themselves 
with virtue, longing for the ecstasies vouchsafed to 
the Adi-Buddha's meditation, reflect the five salient 
features of his understanding, as indicated by their 
gestures. Divided into three or twice three groups, 
according to the position of their hands, and in 
intimate relationship with their Bodhisatvas, Vaj- 
rochana, Akshobhya and Ratnasambhava are 
supposed to have swayed, during thousands of 
years, the three worlds which successively dis- 
appeared, as Amitabha, whose Bodhisatva is 
Padmapani, sways since twenty-four centuries the 
present world, in closest spiritual union with the his- 
torical Buddha, to be succeeded by Amoghasiddha, 
whose Bodhisatva is Vishvapani, the ultimate 
Buddha, the Buddha of universal love. Facing the 
four cardinal points and the zenith, they sit with 
crossed legs,^ clothed in a thin robe which leaves 
the right shoulder and arm bare, and have the dis- 
tinctive protuberance of the skull, generally also the 
oorna, the symbol of light, be it then produced by the 
sun or by lightning. A sixth Buddha, represented 

' In the position called sih by the natives, but with the body straight, not 
bent forward. 


(Cephas Sr.) 


by the statues of the fifth and highest wall, is 
supposed to refer to a power which dominates the 
other five, swaying in last resort the destinies of all 
worlds without exception ; but this theory still 
needs confirmation. The statues of the circular 
terraces stood, or rather sat, in bell-shaped chatty as, 
four to five feet high, capped with tapering key- 
stones which carry conical pinnacles — no lingas, 
though this oft recurring motive of Hindu 
decoration may have suggested the idea. These 
chatty as, 72 in number^ and for the greater part in 
ruin, shattered shells of sanctity, were closed all 
round and the images inside, without aureoles, like 
the Buddhas lower down, only visible through 
openings in the form of lozenges. Their peculiar 
contour has led to the conjecture that they were 
constructed after the holy padma or lotus-flower, a 
hypothesis to which xhsxr padmasana-\^^ bases and 
the numerous peepholes, which might figurate 
empty seed-lobes, lend some colour. Of the 72 
Buddhas they protected, eighteen are wholly lost 
and no more than ten escaped grievous hurt. 

Winding our way upward, passing through the 
galleries whose profound silence, imbued with the 
intensely religious spirit radiating from their sculp- 
tured walls, becomes more and more eloquent ; 
circling the terraces where the attitude of ecstatic 
elation of the world's pre-eminently venerable ones 
in their chaityas exalts the mind in tremulous 

1 The lowest circular terrace has or ought to have 32, the second or 
middle one 24, the highest and last 16 of them. 



expectation, we arrive at the dagob, the shrine of 
shrines, the temple's coronet, gUttering in the bright 
glow of day. This is the reliquary proper, the 
centre into which the holiness of the hallowed 
building converges. It rises, similar to the smaller 
cupolas, but perpendicular to a height of several 
feet, from a substructure in the guise of a lotus 
cushion ; it was also closed round about, without 
any aperture so far as can be concluded from its 
present state, for a portion of it has tumbled down 
and the base of the crowning pinnacle, reached by 
ill-matched, rickety steps, a recent, outrageously 
discordant addition, serves for a bench, the whole, 
about 25 feet above the topmost terrace, having 
been transformed into a crude belvedere, enabling 
visitors to enjoy the magnificent view. The interior 
space seems originally to have been divided into an 
upper and a lower chamber ; there is nothing 
deserving mention in the matter of decoration save 
an inscription to remind posterity of the late King 
of Siam's visit in the disastrous year 1896 — a 
delicious memorial, at the same time, of official 
vandalism and servility. The golden letters affect 
one unpleasantly in the spoliated sanctum, whose 
ruinous condition dates from a previous call, some 
sixty or seventy years ago, permitted if not en- 
couraged by previous authorities, when looting 
pseudo-archaeologists broke into it and carried off 
the relic, which consisted, assuming the credibility 
of local reports regarding their disappointment, in a 
small quantity of ashy substance, enclosed in a 


metal urn with lid ; furthermore in a small image of 
metal and a few coins. The large statue they un- 
earthed too, would have impeded the movements of 
the marauders on their return voyage and so it 
remained in place, half hidden in the hole they had 
dug, undisturbed, for the same reason, by subscr 
quent collectors. Left unfinished by its sculptor, 
designedly or not,^ resembling in the position of its 
hands the Dhyani Buddhas which face the East, 
does it personify the Adi- Buddha, a purely abstract 
entity, a metaphysical conception hitherto defying 
even symbolic utterance ? The learned and especially 
the quasi-learned never lacked weighty arguments 
pro or contra, and, without prejudice to all they 
proved and disproved,^ it does not appear improb- 
able that the lively imagination of the Javanese 
artist aimed at a tangible expression of him who 
ran his course as the spirit and source of the 
Buddhist conception of happiness, resuscitated from 
his ashes, dominating East and West, North and 
South, the blissful abode of those progressing in self- 
negation and the infernal regions of prolonged 
earthly existence, by the strength of the divine 
rays proceeding from the oorna, illumining the 
path trodden by the virtuous toward annihilation, 

1 M. A. FoucHER points out in the Bulletin de I'Ecole Franfaise 
iVBxtrtme Orient, iii. , that the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang found another 
unfinished statue in the Mahabodhi temple near the Bo-tree of Enlightenment, 
a statue which, according to the description, represented the Buddha in the 
same position, his left hand resting in his lap, his right hand hanging down, 


2 The literature concerning this statue, says Goena Darma in the 
Javapast of December S, 1903, is extensive and rich in curious conjectures but 
poor as to scientific value. 


terrifying the children of darkness, dwellers in 
passion and sin, pervading all creation with his 
saintliness, the one of the Paranirvana whose 
essence flowers in the beauty of the Boro Budoor. 
And the Moslim native worships him as the god of 
his ancestors, caught in stone ; smears him with 
boreh and performs acts of sacrifice before him in 
spite of the Book fulminating against idolaters and 
of the almost contemptuous familiarity intimated by 
the otherwise very appropriate nickname bestowed on 
this heterodox deity, namely recho beleq, which 
means " statue in the mud ". 

The work of restoration, started with excavations 
and the removal of heaps of accumulated debris, has 
led to important discoveries, also in relation to the 
dagob. Among shattered ^«^«-gargoyles, antefixes, 
carved detail of every description, fragments have 
been found of a Xx'v^t. payoong, an ornament in the 
form of a sunshade which capped it ; of a statuette 
supposed to have adorned its second storey, the 
upper compartment of the cella. To quote from 
Major van Erp's last published report,-' the excava- 
tions shed new light on the design of some minor 
parts of the building, the decoration, e.g., of the 
lowest three staircases on each of the four sides ; 
notwithstanding the existing drawings, the kala- 
makara motive seems to have entered into the 
ornament of the entrance gate in the principal outer 
wall ; the design of the balustrade which enclosed 

^ Proceedings of the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, January 1 1, 


the platform of the temple and disappeared altogether, 
has been determined and a portion of it will be 
rebuilt to show how things must have looked ; slabs 
belonging to the different series of bas-reliefs, 
mostly of the jataka variety, have been unearthed 
or detected in neighbouring kampongs. Especial 
care is taken to retrieve those missing from the 
upper tier in the first gallery : if the recovered 
reliefs are not always complete, the recognisable 
principal figure explains generally the idea which 
the sculptor intended to convey, with sufficient 
clearness to be grasped by the trained archaeologist. 
And as to the rest of the detached pieces of 
architectural value, dug up or otherwise revealed to 
the searching eye, the symmetric unity of the Boro 
Budoor is such that place and position of each 
component part, however subordinate in the 
mighty fabric, are easily ascertained. Every new 
find discloses new excellence, so far undreamt of, 
in the constructive ability of the master-builder 
whose illuminated brain conceived the idea of this 
temple wherein he wrote the history of a religion. 

Whose goodly workmanship far past all other. 
That ever were on earth, all were they set together. 

His name is unknown, though native fancy, 
descrying his likeness in the profile of the Minoreh 
mountains, a fine conceit worthy of his genius, has 
baptised him Kiahi Guna Darma. Another tradi- 
tion calls him Kiahi Oondagi and makes him chisel 
the statue which, up to the time of the late King of 


Siam's visit in 1896, stood near the pasangrahan, 
facing a damaged Amitabha and seemingly hearten- 
ing the diminishing ranks of the lions mounting 
guard. It had been brought thither from a place 
known as Topog, about a mile distant, and was 
certainly a portrait-statue, beautifully cut and with 
its extraordinarily clever features a rare work of art. 
The story goes that, like Busketus, the architect 
(with Rainaldus) of the Duomo at Pisa, his dearest 
wish was to have his remains carried to rest under 
the stones of the edifice he had raised to the honour 
of the unseen ; that, baffled in his hopes and re- 
incarnated after his death because of some venial 
offence which made him fail in attaining the 
Nirvana too, he fashioned this effigy to be set up at 
the entrance of his magnum opus, anticipating an 
idea of the equally nameless artist who put the 
Byzantine stamp on San Marco in Venice. It is an 
additional proof of the late King Chulalongkorn's 
discrimination in favour of the very best that, 
making the permitted choice, his Majesty included 
Kiahi Oondagi, but O ! the official cringing and the 
little piety shown to the memory of the illustrious 
labourer who wrought this wonderful monument. 

On the hillock of Topog, the deva agoongs primi- 
tive home, two wash-basins in the form oi yonis, one 
of them of colossal dimensions and resting on a 
crouched figure, testify to the worship of Siva's 
sakti, the female principle of life personified in the 
Mahadeva's Devi. Hindu motives in the ornament 
of the Boro Budoor avouch syncretism having 


influenced the highest expression of Buddhism 
itself : there is a four-armed image with padmasana 
and prabha, which, carrying a Buddha in its makuta, 
may hint at Vishnu's ninth avatar ; there is a four- 
armed figure seated on a throne supported by Siva's 
vahana, the bull ; there is a goddess crowned with 
five trishulas ; etc. All this illustrates again native 
tolerance in, matters of religion as in other respects, 
a result of the ancient habit of the Javanese in 
particular, to meet widely different races and civili- 
sations half-way, which has preserved them from 
the narrow-mindedness consequent on isolation, as 
observed by a scholar who knows them well and 
whose study of special subjects has in nowise im- 
paired his breadth of vision/ The modification of 
this easy-going temperament in contact with western 
greed, offers abundant food for thought when we 
return to the cool cave of refuge from passion where 
the recho beleq symbolises deep contemplation and 
meditation terminating in absorption of self by 
participation of the Spirit of the Universe, under the 
gaudy memorial tablet, Koning van Slant: i8g6, 
which, in its glaring incongruity, symbolises the 
inverted process.^ The feeling of annoyance it 

^ Professor Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje, Nederlanden de Islam. 

' Since this was written, the information reached me that && recho beliq 
has been taken out of its hole to give it a place somewhere in the temple 
grounds where it will be open to inspection, which the reconstruction of the 
dagob would have made impossible if left in its original station. The sacrilege 
may be condoned to a certain extent if it implies the disappearance of the 
tablet intended to keep alive the memory of the disastrous royal visit. 

The illustration opposite page 280 shows the upper terraces and the dagob 
after their restoration : the pinnacle of the dagob having been reconstructed 
with its crowning ornament, this was afterwards taken away because of some 
uncertainty as to its original arrangement. 


produces, soon passes when the mind begins to 
expand with admiration of the scene of calm splen- 
dour beheld from the dagob containing the pollen 
of the lotus of the law. The hues and harmonies 
of evening dispose to a quietude nowhere else 
experienced or enjoyed in that measure. The only 
sound heard is a faint humming of insects circling 
the pinnacles of the chaityas which divide the 
panorama of the plain below into views of separate 
interest and beauty, bounded by the graceful outline 
of the terraces and the distant hills. Ricefields and 
palmgroves stretch as far as the eye can reach, with 
villages between, sheltered by their orchards, earth's 
tapestry, embroidered in all gradations of green 
from that of the sprouting bibit padi of the young 
plantations to that of the thick foliage of centenarian 
kanaris. The shadow of the temple, kissing the 
drowsy eyelids of the Kadu, lengthens towards the 
Merapi over whose crater, gilt by the setting sun, 
hangs a cloud of dark smoke which drifts slowly in 
the direction of the Merbabu, while the Soombing, 
to the northeast, looks tranquilly on. The darkness, 
ushered by the smoke of the ill-tempered old fire- 
mountain, mingling with the pink and purple of the 
western sky, spreads over the land, envelops forests 
and gardens in gray, hushing all that breathes to 
sleep. One parting smile of the sun's gladness and 
night descends in her sable robes. Nothing stirs ; 
the toils of day are forgotten in wholesome repose ; 
it is the hour of Amitabha, ruler of the region of 
sunset and spiritual father of the present world's 


(Cephas Sr.) 


ruler, the one whose hands rest in his lap after 
the completion of a laborious task. Morning will 
come and in time the creation of a new world, the 
world of loving-kindness, Vishvapani's, the Metteya 
Buddha's own — in time, long time! A gardu^ 
strikes seven ; another answers immediately with 
eight strokes on the belog ; ^ far away no more than 
six respond, — what is time to the native ! Silence 
reigns again, silence emphasised by the high-pitched 
notes of a suling^ quavering indistinctly as the 
evening breeze speeds the lover's complaint or 
refuses its aid. A noise of revelry in the pa- 
sangrahan distracts the attention from this tuneful 
courtship ; the visionary beings that were taking 
life from the germ of thought hidden in its shrine, 
petrify into mute statues or vanish altogether : the 
spell of the Boro Budoor is broken. 

' Gardus are guard-houses erected for the accommodation of the men who 
take their turn in watching the roads at night ; near the entrance of each 
hangs the beloq (block), a piece of wood which, being hollow, is beaten with a 
stick to proclaim the hour or to signal fire, amok, the appearance of kechus 
(armed thieves), etc. ■ 

^ The Javanese reed-pipe. 



Cio ch' io vedeva, mi sembrava un riso 

Dell' universe ; ' 

Dante Alighieri's Comtnedta {Paradise, Canto 27). 

It has already been remarked that the natives 
knew of the existence of the chandi Boro Budoor 
long before Cornelius' discoveries or, rather, that 
they never lost sight of it, and the place it occupies 
in the Javanese chronicles appears from the Babad 
Tanah Jawa} In the early years of the eighteenth 
century Ki Mas Dana, son-in-law of Ki Gedeh 
Pasukilan, incited the people of Mataram to a 
rebellion; which broke out in the dessa Enta Enta, 
a centre of sedition it seems, since only a short 
time before a certain Raden Suryakusumo, son 
of Pangeran Puger, had chosen the same village 
for his headquarters when rising against Mangku 

' That which I saw, seemed to me 
A smile of all creation ; . . . 
2 J. J. Meinsma, Baiad Tanah Jawa, text and notes, 1874-1877, com- 
mented upon by Dr. J. L. A. Brandes in Het Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, 
Land- en Volkenkunde, 1901. 



Rat II., who captured him and put him in an iron 
cage without, however, killing him, because the 
omens were unfavourable,^ Ki Mas Dana had 
many followers and appointed bupatis and mantris. 
Ki Yagawinata, bupati of Mataram, marched 
against him but was defeated and fled to Kartasura, 
acquainting his Majesty with what had happened. 
Thereupon Pangeran Pringgalaya was sent to sup- 
press Ki Mas Dana's revolt, with instructions to 
capture him alive because his Majesty had made 
a vow that he would exhibit him publicly as an 
example to the inhabitants of Kartasura and let 
him be rampokked'^ with needles. Pangeran Pring- 
galaya departed and with him half of the bupatis 
of Kartasura. When he arrived at Enta Enta the 
battle began. Many rebels were killed. Ki Mas 
Dana fled to the mountain Boro Budoor. He was 
surrounded by the troops of Pangeran Pringgalaya 
and made a prisoner. Then they brought him to 
his Majesty at Kartasura, who ordered all the 
inhabitants of the town to assemble in the aloon 
aloon, each of them with a needle. It lasted three 
days before all the inhabitants of Kartasura had 
had their turn. When he was dead, his head was 

^ The insurrection headed by Raden Suryakusumo brolte out in 1703 and, 
according to letters from the Governor-General then in function at Batavia, to 
the Honourable Seventeen at home, this Javanese Hotspur gave a good deal 
of trouble. Having regained his liberty, he rebelled again at Tagal, was 
captured once more and brought to Batavia, whence the Dutch authorities 
sent him into banishment at the Cape of Good Hope, agreeably to the request 
of Mangku Rat IV. Cf. J. K. J. de Jongb, De Opkomst van het Neder- 
landsche Gezag over Java, vol. viii. 

^ To ramfok is to attack one, crowding on him, generally with lances. The 
rampokking of tigers after they are caught and again set free in a square 
formed by rows of men with pikes, is still a favourite amusement. 


cut off and exhibited on a pole. After the execu- 
tion of Ki Mas Dana, the news was received that 
his father-in-law Ki Gedeh Pasukilan had also 
revolted. His Majesty ordered the repression of 
that revolt too. Ki Gedeh Pasukilan was defeated 
and killed. 

Dr. Brandes, observing that the chandi Boro 
Budoor must have been meant because there is no 
other place known of the same name and its stra- 
tegical value, given ancient modes of warfare, is 
obvious, puts the date of its investment by Pangeran 
Pringgalaya to seize Ki Mas Dana, at 1709 or 17 10. 
A native reference to the Boro Budoor of half a 
century later, is found in a Javanese manuscript, 
used by Professor C. Poensen for a paper on 
Mangku Bumi, first Sooltan of Jogjakarta.^ The 
conduct of the Pangeran Adipati, son of that 
Sooltan, grieved his father very much. Besides 
his ignorance in literary matters, he was proud 
and arrogant ; he disdained his father's advice and 
associated with the women of the toll-gate, which 
caused all sorts of annoyance. He went also to the 
Boro Budoor to see the thousand statues, notwith- 
standing an old prediction that misfortune would 
befall the prince who beheld those images, for one 
of them represented a satrya (a noble knight) 
imprisoned in a cage; but it was the Prince's fate 
that he wished to see the statue of the satrya. 
Having gratified his desire, he remained in the 

' Bijdragm tot de Taal-, lM.nd- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch Indie, 
vi., I and 2. 


Kadu, where he led a most dissolute life. This 
gave great sorrow to his father, the Sooltan, because 
the scandal reached such dimensions that the 
(Dutch) Governor at Samarang heard of it and 
reprimanded him. Ashamed and angry, he sent a 
few bupatis with armed men to order the Pangeran 
Adipati to return to Ngajogja (Jogjakarta) ; if he 
refused, they had to use violence and were even 
authorised to kill him. The Pangeran Adipati 
obeyed and was kindly received by his father, 
but soon after he fell ill, spat blood and died. A 
letter of the Governor- General J. Mossel, dated 
December 30, 1758,^ contains the passage: "His 
Highness' eldest son, the pangerang Adipatty 
Hamancoenagara, having departed this life, . . ." 
and the profligate Crown Prince's visit to the Boro 
Budoor may therefore be put at a few years less 
than fifty after Ki Mas Dana's rebellion. 

It is clear, says Dr. Brandes, that at the time 
referred to in this second record, the Boro Budoor 
was something more to the natives than simply a hill ; 
they knew of the building with the thousand statues 
— a round number like that of the chandi Sewu, the 
" thousand temples " — and they knew of the images 
in the bell-shaped chaityas on the circular terraces. 
And though any one of thoge 72 statues or even 
the principal statue in the central dagob may 
have been meant, in which last case, however, 
another expression than kuroongan (cage) would 
appear more appropriate, we think involuntarily 

1 J. K. J. DE JONGE, Op. cil., vol. X., p. 329. 


of the Sang Bimo or Kaki Bimo so-called, a statue 
of the Buddha promoted or degraded by popular 
superstition to the rank of a Pandawa, Arjuno's 
chivalrous brother, seated in the chaitya of the 
lowest circular terrace, next to and south of the 
eastern staircase, still venerated by the natives, by 
the Chinese community and by more women and 
men of European extraction than are willing to 
confess it. Bimo or Wergodoro, to use the name 
given to him in the wayang lakons when they extol 
his youthful exploits, is the archetype of the satrya, 
the pattern of ancestral knighthood. Most prob- 
ably it was Sang Bimo who, conformably to the 
ilaila or ancient prediction, executed the decree of 
fate on Pangeran Adipati Hamangkunagara. Dis- 
regarding the example set by the invisible power 
which resides in the Boro Budoor, a later Crown 
Prince of Jogjakarta visited that temple in 1900 
without, so far, coming to grief Has then the 
ilaila under special consideration lost its efficacy ? 
We must presume so, notwithstanding that the 
occult forces identified with Sang Bimo and other 
statues of the ancient fane, are affirmed still to work 
miracles in plenty when propitiated by adequate 

The greatest miracle of all is the elation of man's 
thought by the irresistible charm which goes out 
from it. A night with the Boro Budoor is a night 
of purification, when Amitabha offers the lotus of 
the good law and the gift is accepted ; when the 
wonderful edifice, rising to the star-spangled sky. 


(Cephas Sr.) 


unfolds terrace after terrace and gallery after gallery 
between the domed and pinnacled walls, as his flower 
of ecstatic meditation spreads its petals, opens its 
heart of beauty to the fructifying touch of heaven ; 
when tranquil love descends in waves of content- 
ment, unspeakable satisfaction. The dagob loses 
its sharp, bold outline and melts into boundless 
space, a vision of fading existence in consumma- 
tion of wisdom. A mysterious voice, proceeding 
from the shrine, urges to search out the secret it 
hides. The summons cannot be resisted and going 
up, trusting to the murky night, mounting the steps 
to the first gate as in a somnambulistic trance, the 
seeker of enlightenment discerns the path, guided by 
his quickened perception when the voice dies of its 
own sweetness, the fragrant stillness appeasing the 
mind and extending promise of pity for passion 
and fleshly desire, the garment of sin left behind. 
Surely, it was the supreme wisdom,, forgiving all 
things because it understands, which inspired a human 
intellect to devise, directed human hands to achieve 
in the delineation of mercy such powerful architec- 
tural unity, sustained by such sublimely beauteous 
ornament. Aided from above, the spirituality of 
the builder, creating this masterpiece, needed not 
the laborious tricks passed off on us in our days of 
feverish effect-hascherei by artists who dispense with 
the rudiments of their art to strive after the sensa- 
tional. Neither was his originality of the cheap 
kind which tries to cloak crass technical ignorance 
and hopeless general ineptitude with paltry though 


pretentious artifices, displaying a deplorable lack of 
the conceptive faculty into the bargain. Proclaim- 
ing the doctrine glorious in veracity of thought 
and utterance, the Boro Budoor typifies honest 
endeavour and sincerity of purpose. 

Entering the first of the porches through which 
from four sides the successive galleries and terraces 
are reached, we come under the spell of the rapture 
symbolised by those vaulted staircases, leading up- 
ward from reason to faith, constructed, it seems, to 
match the " evident portals " of the perfect state : 
composure, kindness, modesty, self-knowledge. The 
Banaspati, terrifier of the evil spirits, shelters him 
who proceeds on the path they indicate in clemency 
and charity. As we pass on, confiding in his protec- 
tion, the sculptured walls -gleam softly, impregnated 
by the sun's light embedded in the stones, and the 
germ of truth, treasured in the dagob, radiates down 
in luminous substantiation of the word, making the 
invisible visible by degrees. The air hangs heavy 
and warm in the galleries and throbs with the 
emotion excited by the lustrous reliefs which picture 
the life of the Buddha. A flush of indescribable 
splendour, clear exhalation of his virtue and holiness, 
lifts veil after veil from the bliss this initiation 
portends. The transparent atmosphere lends new 
significance to the gestures of the Dhyani Buddhas, 
seated on their lotus cushions as stars half quenched 
in golden mist, while we feel more than see the 
serene calmness of their features still wrapped in 
obscurity. Their contemplation is the beginning of 


the highest ; their ecstasy pierces eternity, opens the 
regions of infinite intelligence, complete self-efface- 
ment, absolute nothingness. Too much absorbed 
in abstract cogitation to occupy themselves with 
matters of mundane interest, they leave the govern- 
ment of the created worlds to their spiritual sons, 
and Padmapani is the Mahasatva on whom our age 
depends. Out-topping human knowledge, they 
teach the meaning of the universe : the Buddha of 
the East dreaming his dreams as the sun rises, the 
Buddha of the South blessing the day, the Buddha 
of the West unfolding the secret of the all-spirit as 
the sun sets, the Buddha of the North pointing the 
way from darkness to light, the Buddha of the Zenith 
lifting his hands to turn the wheel of the law. The 
statues smile beatitude in happiness at losing the 
consciousness of existence when they will be worthy 
of the Nirvana, the solution of life in non-being, 
death which disclaims resurrection in any form. 
And the highest attainable blessing, the Paranirvana, 
the Nirvana Absolute, is signified in the image of 
the central dagob : however interpreted as solitary 
indweller of the shrine of shrines built over the 
remains of the flesh which embodied the word, the 
Tathagata, the self-subsisting, preceded and to be 
succeeded in fullness of time, it figures the imman- 
ence in bodily imperfection of the energy for good 
which sanctified Ayushmat Gautama, who modified 
his carnality by dominating his senses ; who, when 
questioned by his first disciples, could declare that he 
was the expected teacher of lucid perception and 


replete comprehension, the discerning monitor, the 
destroyer of error, the spotless counsellor impelled 
to release them from the bonds of sin and make them 
deserve the manifest favour of annihilation. 

The rudely interrupted sleep of the recho belet 
formulated, intentionally or not, a confession of faith 
in the reward of righteousness by complete dissolu- 
tion, cessation of continuance, eternal rest un- 
disturbed by gods or men, by feeling or thought. 
The pilgrim to the Boro Budoor, longing for the 
araAaiship, accomplished in the science of conduct- 
ing himself, must have hesitated before ascending 
to the highest terrace and seeking direct communion 
with the pure spirit of the son of virtue, born of a 
woman truly, but whose mother died seven days 
after his birth, in token of his eminence ; the vener- 
able one whose moral strength stands paramount, 
overcometh even the innate fear of extinction. The 
essence of the Triratna lies here within the grasp of 
the earnest inquirer, the precious pearl whose lustre 
divulges the principle of causation, the beginning 
and the end of all things, the primary source of what 
is and shall be. How to obtain it ? By offerings 
to the symbolic stone ? Not so, but by good works 
and self-examination which excels prayer and makes 
any place a Bodhimanda, a seat of intelligence. 
The Buddha was a man, no god surpassing the 
limits of humanity, who has to be propitiated by 
adoration. Whoso wishes the Rescuer's saving 
grace, should remember the story of Upagoopta and 
the courtesan Vasavadatta, and ask : Has my hour 


arrived ? ^ Penance for errors committed, not by 

The story points a moral not less relevant to western than to eastern ethics 
and runs as follows : " 

Once upon a time there lived in Mathura a courtesan renowned for her 
beauty and her name was Vasavadatta. On a certain day her maid, having 
been sent to buy perfume at a merchant's, who had a son called Upagoopta, and 
having stayed out rather long, she said : 

— It appears, my dear, that this youth Upagoopta pleases you exceedingly 
well, since you never buy in any shop but his lather's. 

— Daughter of my master, answered the maid, besides being comely, clever 
and polite, Upagoopta, the son of the merchant, passes his life in observing 
the law. 

These words awakened in Vasavadatta's heart a desire to meet Upagoopta 
and she bade her maid go back and make an appointment with him. But the 
youth vouchsafed no other reply than :— My sister, the hour has not yet arrived. 

Vasavadatta thought that Upagoopta refused because he could not afford to 
pay the high price she demanded for her favours, and she bade her maid tell 
him that she did not intend to charge him a single cowry if only he would come. 
But Upagoopta replied in the same words : — My sister, the hour has not yet 

Shortly after, the courtesan Vasavadatta, annoyed by the jealousy of one of 
her lovers, who objected to her selling herself to a wealthy old voluptuary, 
ordered her servants to kill the troublesome fellow. They did so without taking 
sufficient precautions against discovery ; the crime became known and the 
King of Mathura commanded the executioner to cut off her hands, feet and 
nose, and abandon her thus mutilated among the graves of the dead. 

Upagoopta hearing of it, said to himself: When she was arrayed in fine 
clothes and no jewels were rare and costly enough to adorn her body, it was a 
counsel of wisdom for those who^aspire to liberation from the bondage of sin 
to avoid her ; with her beauty, however, she has certainly lost her pride and 
lustfulness, and this is the hour. 

Accordingly, Upagoopta went up to the cemetery where the executioner 
had left Vasavadatta maimed and disfigured. The maid, having remained 
faithful, saw him approach and informed her mistress who, in a last effort at 
coquetterie, told her to cover the hideous wounds with a piece of cloth. Then, 
bowing her head before her visitor, Vasavadatta spoke : 

— My master, when my body was sweet as a flower, clothed in rich garments 
and decked with pearls and rubies ; when I was goodly to behold, you made 
me unhappy by refusing to meet me. Why do you come now to look at one 
from whom all charm and pleasure has fled, a frightful wreck, soiled with blood 
and filth? 

My sister, answered Upagoopta, the attraction of your charms and the 

love of the pleasures they held out, could not move me ; but the delights of this 
world having revealed their hollowness, here I am to bring the consolation of 
the lotus of the law. 

So the son of the merchant comforted the courtesan doing penance for her 
transgressions, and she died in a confession of faith to the word of the Buddha, 
hopeful of rebirth on a plane of chastened existence. 


fasting and self-torture, but by persevering in the 
eight-fold path of right views, right aspirations, right 
speech, right behaviour, right search of sustenance, 
right effort, right mindfulness of our fellow- 
creatures, right exultation, should ward off the dire 
punishment of remorse which in well-balanced spirits 
cannot dwell. Self-restraint, uprightness, control of 
the organs of sense, makes the fell fire of the three 
deadly sins — sensuality, ill-will and moral sluggish- 
ness — die out in the heart by a proper arrangement 
of the precious vestments, the six cardinal virtues : 
charity, cleanness, patience, courage, contemplative 
sympathy with all creation and discrimination of 
good and evil. This leads to perfection, advance- 
ment to the highest of the four sublime conditions, 
the Brahma Viharas on which Buddhism improved 
by making equanimity with regard to one's own joys 
and sorrows the test of progress on the road which 
leads to bliss in extermination of pain. Loosen the 
shackles of worldly existence by constant application 
to escape from the fatal thraldom imposed by birth 
and rebirth ! Life is continued misery ; no salva- 
tion from the distress caused by passion and sin 
is possible except by cessation of self, by merg- 
ing individual in universal vacancy, mounting the 
four steps of the Dhyana in contemplative evolution 
of the Nirvana, refining perception and speculation 
to total impassibility, extinguishing reason itself in 
eternal voidness, where we have nothing to fear and 
nothing to hope for, taking refuge in non-existence, 
the only conceivable verity. 








w ^ 

P< I 
O S 

o » 

CO 3 

o 5i 









Heart and head rebel against such a religion, 
which considers conscious life the great enemy to 
be destroyed, seeks life's meed in dissolution of 
energy, man's best part flickering out as the flame 
of a spent candle. With the gladdening odour of 
the garden of Java in our nostrils, rational instinct 
struggles free from the torment of imposed passivity 
and we rather take a more militant stand concordant 
with the Buddha's dying words : Work out your 
salvation with diligence. How is it to be done ? 
Shall we turn for guidance to the creed of the men 
of power and pelf, who seem to think that their best 
recommendation to divine favour is the defacement, 
in their western theological mill, of the gospel they 
received from the East ; whose mouths are filled 
with promises while their hands sow calamity ; whose 
moral superiority is but a delusion ; who mar im- 
piously what they pretend to improve ; who boast of 
investing their moral surplus in political efficiency, 
as King Siladitiya did, for the benefit of their wards, 
but whose greedy immorality spoils even the 
reckoning of their own selfishness ! Not so : their 
deeds giving the lie to their words, their iniquities 
increasing, their trespasses growing up into the 
heavens, who can wonder that the glory of the deity 
they profess to worship, suffers in the estimation of 
the native ? And yet, how might Christianity thrive 
in a soil prepared by the doctrine of elimination of 
self, by adherence to the three duties Buddhism 
laid down as far more important than Brahinanic 
sacrifice : continence, kindness, reverence for the 


life of all creatures. Insisting on man's obligations 
to his fellow-men, the Buddha anticipated by six 
centuries the precept : Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself. If he did not match it with the first and 
greater commandment of the Christian dispensation, 
his atheism, to quote Hunter, was a philosophical 
tenet which, so far from weakening the sanctions 
of right and wrong, gave them new strength from 
the doctrine of Karma or the metempsychosis of 
character. Teaching that sin, sorrow and deliver- 
ance, the state of a man in this life, in all previous 
and all future lives, is the inevitable result of his 
own acts, the Buddha applied the inexorable law of 
cause and effect to the soul : What we sow, we must 
reap. " All spirits are enslaved which serve things 
evil," as redemption flowers from straight vision, 
straight thought, straight exertion in truthful en- 
deavour. The lesson might be profitably taken 
to heart in furtherance of a nation's Karma by 
statesmen who have no explanation for the unsatis- 
factory condition of dependencies oversea but 
evasive oratory backed by a dexterous shuffling 
of cooked colonial reports and doctored colonial 
statistics when the sinister farce of the colonial 
budget is on the boards. And each of us, however 
limited his sphere, finds his own opportunities for 
individual transition to a higher state : like Gautama 
we meet every day the poor and needy, the old and 
decrepit in want of assistance, the prostrate sufferer 
in agony of death. 

And, like Gautama, each one who strives for 


enfranchisement, must have his struggle with Mara, 
the Prince of Darkness. After the first watch on 
the Boro Budoor, night thickens and covers the 
earth as a pall ; the wan stars glimmer weakly, 
shining on the misery of deficient fulfilment of 
intention. Reflecting on our errors of commission 
and omission, seeing our deeds laid bare and their 
why and wherefore, dejection masters hope, though 
steadfast determination might take an example at 
the Buddha wrestling with the Enemy, who offered 
him the kingdom of the four worlds ; though we 
know that the giving or withholding of the fifth, 
the world of glory, is beyond the Enemy's power. 
We see the contest re-enacted before us and tremble. 
Appearing bodily, horrible to behold, Mara, the 
god of carnal love, passion and sin, Papiyan, the 
very vicious, besets the incarnate word, surrounded 
by his demons of ever changing gruesome aspect, 
barking dogs with enormous fangs and lolling 
tongues ; roaring tigers with sharp, murderous claws 
and bloodshot eyes ; hissing serpents, darting for- 
ward to strike and crush their prey. While we 
fancy the contest raging hottest round valiant 
patience, personified in the image of the dagob, the 
maimed statues of the chaityas and lower niches 
join in the dire battle as the headless spirits that 
rode upon the tempest when Evil assailed the elect's 
purity. Papiyan cannot prevail and seeing the 
futility of violence, he has recourse to his daughters, 
the winsome apsaras, who dance and provoke to 
lascivious commerce by their seductive arts. But they 


make no more impression than their brutish brothers 
and, in spite of themselves, they are compelled to 
praise the fortitude of a virtue which will not 
succumb even when one of them assumes the shape 
of a beloved youthful spouse. The baffled apsaras 
dissolve in floating vapour, and Papiyan, in despair, 
traces flaming characters on the dome of the dagob 
with his last arrow : My empire is ended. The 
stars resume their brightness and a sense of coming 
light pervades the gloom of despondency. It is 
borne toward us in the flower tendered by Chandra, 
the deity of the chaste radiance proceeding from 
the conqueror's crest. Lo, his crown is transferred 
to the sky and, climbing slowly, the cusped moon 
invests the moulders of past and future worlds with 
halos of liquid silver. 

This is the time, the stilly hour before dawn, the 
last watch before morning, the chosen moment of 
the Buddha's attainment to the summit of the triple 
science, wherein the supernatural beauty of the 
Boro Budoor, cleansed and reconsecrated after the 
white man's profanation, by the burning fire of 
day and the mellow touch of night, helps us to 
penetrate the meaning of his promise. He who 
holds fast to the law and discipline and faints not, 
he shall cross the ocean of life and make an end of 
sorrow. The blitheness of spirit which consists, 
because of that whereby the sun riseth and setteth, 
and the moon waxeth and waneth, in discarding the 
ignorance engendered by conceding to this world 
a reality it does not possess, regarding as constant 


that which changes with every wind that blows, — 
the exahation born from silent contemplation, loses 
its vagueness in the manifestation of the godhead 
in ourselves. For contemplation becomes seeded 
and blooms in the triad of meditation, the recognition 
of the entities of time and space, and connecting 
thought as the unity of universal relationship. The 
Dhyani Buddhas, wrapped in the shadows from 
which dawn will deliver them, seek to comprehend, 
and our mentality expanding with theirs, looking 
down upon the gray waves of mist that break on 
the old temple as on a rock of ages in a stormy sea, 
we feel the dagob rise to meet the moonbeams 
and soar to unutterable delight. Presently the first 
smile of day salutes and awakens mother earth ; 
a murmur of contentment thrills the air in harmony 
of praise : the dimming, quivering stars, the crimson 
mountain-tops, the purple and azure perspective 
between, all creation combines in a song of 
thanksgiving. The mystic planetary music, the 
singing together of earth and heaven in melody of 
colour and sound, welcomes the bright morning. 
Dawn, with blushing face and heart of gold, bewrays 
the glory of her eternal abode to the world of man, 
sending her outriders before, the Asvins, the lords 
of lustre, whose shining armour, forged of the 
sun's rays, illumines the pearly sky with dazzling 
splendour. They roll the billowy vapours together 
and chase them up the hill-side " like wool of divers 
changing colours carded," that the eye of the life- 
giver may rest on the plain where the palm-groves 


rise in the hazy dew as emerald islands in an 
opalescent lake. The Merbabu and the Soombing 
are still half in darkness when the Merapi, flecked 
with orange and violet, blazes in reflection of aerial 
effulgence, soon to commingle the smoke of its fiery 
crater with the clouds mounting its slopes. The 
fire-mountains keep a good watch on the garden of 
Java, than which Jatawana, the famous pleasance 
where the Buddha enounced the substance of his 
teachings preserved in the Sutras, cannot have been 
more delicious ; and the Merapi in particular makes 
the land pass under the rod when sacred covenants 
are broken. 

The heart too is illuminated as thoughts take 
their hues from the skies, knowledge clearing up the 
anarchy of conflicting creeds which exercised and 
exercise their sway over Java. Brahmanic terrorism 
and Buddhist despondency, Moslim fanaticism and 
Christian dissensions vanish before her unsophisti- 
cated children's delight in life for its own sake, as 
the morning dew before the warmth of the sun. 
Twining memories of the jaman buda with current 
happenings, they take their spiritual nourishment 
directly from nature and the symbolic form of their 
natural religion from everywhere. Without troubling 
about erudite dissertations regarding the legend of 
the Buddha as the development of an ancient solar 
myth, or Buddhism as a development of the Sankhya 
system of Kapila ; without going into abstruse 
speculations anent the evolution of the universe 
from primordial matter, they are in constant inter- 


course with the surrounding worlds, seen and unseen. 
The virile Surya, impregnating air and earth, un- 
failing source of plenty, enters deep into their meta- 
physics as the cosmic pivot of faith. When high- 
born dawn rouses the tillers of the soil to go forth 
to their work and the eye of day showers benediction, 
the solar word, spoken from the eternal throne and 
descending on wings of happiness, the living word, 
is found emblazoned on the sea of light which floods 
the Kadu just as the fertilising water of the moun- 
tain-rills floods the sawahs ; '^ is found embodied in 
that superb temple, the Boro Budoor, whose soul, the 
soul of humanity in communion with the all-soul, is 
the soul of Java. Adorned with that priceless jewel 
of sanctity, the plain lifts its sensuous loveliness to 
heaven as the bride meets the caresses of her 
wedded spouse, trembling with love. They obey 
the divine law which bids them follow nature in 
drinking the amrita, gaining immortality like the 
gods in creation of life, which may change, yet 
never dies, aging but reviving, the mystery of the 
Trimoorti. Clothed with the resplendent atmosphere, 
touched by the beams of the rising sun, its effulgent 
dagob a mountain of gold, the Boro Budoor bursts 
out in the bloom of excellence, not the sepulchre of 
a discarded religion, of a fallen nation's dreams, but 
a token of the germinal truth of all religion, a 
prophetic expression of things to be. The tide of 
destiny runs not always in the same channel and 

' Sawahs are ricefields, terraced and diked for the purpose of copious 
irrigation, in contradistinction to ladangs (Jav. gagas, Soond. humas) without 
artificial water-supply. 

284 MONUMENTAL JAVA chap, x 

there is promise in the joy of day, promise of a 
slaking of the thirst for freedom, an abatement of 
the fever engendered by doubt of enfranchisement 
always deferred. If hope endures in the battle with 
darkness, patient fortitude will lead to victory. It 
baulked the power of Mara and blunted the weapons 
of the demons who assailed the Buddha and turned 
aside the missiles which did not harm him but 
changed into flowers before his feet, into garlands 
suspended over his head. When knowledge shall 
cover the world at the advent of Vishvapani, deceit 
and avarice will cease tormenting and glad content 
will dwell in the negri jawa for ever. 
So be it ! 


It has been suggested that the practical value of this volume might 
be enhanced by the addition of a short bibliography indicating the 
works to which students, who wish to go deeper into the subjects 
touched upon, could turn for more ample information. II y a 
Vembarras du choix and, always abreast with latest research, par- 
ticularly the publications of learned societies as the Royal Institute 
of the Dutch East Indies, the Royal Geographical Society of the 
Netherlands, the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, are rich 
depositories of Dutch East Indian lore, many of the most important 
monographs they contain, being available in book or pamphlet 
form. Not to speak of the specific knowledge derivable from such 
sources as the official Reports of the Archaeological Commission for 
Java and Madura, the Bulletins of the Colonial Museum at Haarlem, 
etc., from periodicals as Het Tijdschrift voor Binnenlandsch Bestuur 
(organ of the Dutch East Indian Civil Service), Het Indisch Militair 
Tijdschrift, etc., less scientifically or professionally dressed but just 
as weighty observations on different aspects of Dutch rule in the 
Malay Archipelago can be found in monthlies like De Gids, De 
Tijdspiegel and, of course, De Indische Gids in which Het Tijd- 
schrift voor Nederlandsch Indie, founded by W. R. Baron van 
Hoevell, has been incorporated. The Encyclopaedie van Neder- 
landsch Indie is a very serviceable storehouse of general intelligence, 
though new discoveries made and old theories exploded since its 
appearance, emphasise more forcibly with every year, the necessity 
of its usefulness being sustained if not by occasional new editions, 
revised and brought up to date, then at least by frequent supple- 
ments. The Daghregisters 6i the Castle of Batavia, the Neder- 
landsch Indisch Plakaatboek (i6o2-i8ii), the Realia, a register of 
the General Resolutions from 1632 to 1805, offer almost inex- 
haustible material for the history of Java and the other islands in 
the days of the Dutch East India Company. J. C. Hooykaas' 
Repertorium (i 595-1816), continued by A. Hartmann up to 1893, 
and by W. J. P. J. Schalker and W. C. Miiller up to 1910, furnishes 
an excellent index to Dutch colonial literature; C. M. Kan's 
Proeve eener Geographische Bibliographie van Nederlandsch Oost- 
Indie (1865-1880) and Martinus NijhofF's Bibliotheca Neerlando- 



Indica, 1 893, should also be mentioned The following miscellaneous 
list is an attempt briefly to enumerate the works, apart from papers 
accessible only in serial publications, which seem specially adapted 
(allowing a good deal in not a few of them for mutual admira- 
tion and all too courteous, excessive panegyric) to give interested 
readers further particulars, according to each one's individual line 
of investigation, with regard to various matters treated of or alluded 
to in Monumental Java. 

A. Bastian. Indonesien oder die Insel des malayischen Archipel. 

J. G. A. VAN Berckel. Bijdrage tot de Gesckiedenis van het 

Europeesch Opperbesiuur over Nederlandsch Indie (1780— 1806). 

N. P. VAN DEN Berg. Debet of Credit. 1885. 
N. P. VAN DEN Berg. The Financial and Economical Progress 

and Condition of Netherlands India during the last fifteen years 

and the Effect of the present Currency System. 1887. 
L. W. C. VAN DEN Berg. De Mohammedaansche Geestelijkheid en 

de Geestelijke Goederen op Java en Madoera. 1882. 
L. W. C. VAN DEN Berg. De Inlandsche Rangen en Titels op 

Java en Madoera. 1887. 
H. Borel. De Chineezen in Nederlandsch Indie. 1900. 
J. L. A. Brandes. Pararaton {Ken Arok) of het Boek der Koningen 

van ToemapU en van Madjapait. 1896. 
A. Cabaton. Les Indes Nderlandaises. 1 9 1 o. 
J. Chailley Bert. Java et ses habitants. 1907 (new. ed.). 
J. A. VAN DER Chijs. De Nederlanders te Jakatra. i860. 
A. B. Cohen Stuart. De Kawi-Oorkonden. 1875. 
J. Crawfurd. History of the Indian Archipelago. 1820. 
Clive Day. The Policy and Administration of the Dutch in Java. 

A. J. W. van Delden. Blik op het Indisch Staatsbestuur. 1875. 
M. L. VAN Deventer. Het Nederlandsch Gezag over Java en 

Onderhoorigheden sedert 1811. 1891 (first vol.). 
S. VAN Deventer. Bijdragen tot de Kennis van het Landelijk 

Stelsel op Java. 1865. 
E. DOUWES Dekker (Multatuli). Mouc Havelaar of de 

Koffieveilingen der Nederlandsche Handelmaatschappij. i860 

(first ed.). 
J. Fergusson. History of Indian and Eastern Architecture. 19 10 

(new. ed.). 
P. W. Filet. De Verhouding der Vorsten op Java tot de 

Nederlandsch Indische Regeering. 1895. 
P. H. Fromberg. De Chineesche Beweging op Java. 191 1. 
J. Groneman. De Garebegs te Ngajogyakarta. 1895. 
J. Groneman. Boeddhistische Tempel- en Kloosterbouwv alien in de 

Parambanan-vlakte. 1 907. 


J. Groneman. Boeddhistische Tempelbouwvallen in de Progo-vallei, 
de Tjandis Baraboedoer, Mendoet en Pawon. 1907. 

F. DE Haan. Priangan. De Preanger Regentschappen onder het 

Nederlandsch Bestuur tot 1811. 1910 (first vol.). 

G. A. J. Hazeu. Bijdrage tot de Kennis van het Javaansche 

Tooneel. 1897. 
J. E. Heeres. Bowwstoffen voor de Geschiedenis der Nederlanders 

in den Maleischen Archipel. 1895 (third vol.). 
W. R. van Hoevell. Reis over Java, Madoera en Bali. 1849- 

J. K. J. DE JONGE (cont. by M. L. VAN Deventer and P. A. Tiele). 

De Opkomst van het Nederlandsche Gezag in Oost-Indi'e. 1857. 
F. W. Junghuhn. Topographische und naturwissenschaftliche 

Reisen durch Java. 1845. 

F. W. Junghuhn. Java, zijne Gedaante, zijn Plantengroei en 

inwendige Bouw. 1 849. 
A. G. Keller. Colonization. 1906. 

J. H. C. Kern. Eene Indische Sage in Javaansch Gewaad. 1876. 
J. H. C. Kern. Over de oudjavaanscke Vertaling van het 

Mahabharata. 1877. 
J. H. C. Kern. Over de Vermenging van Ciwaisme en Boeddhisme 

op Java naar aanleiding van het oud-Javaansche Gedicht 

Sutasoma. 1888. 
J. H. F. Kohlbrugge. Blikken in het Zieleleven van den Javaan 

en Zijner Overheerschers. 1907. 
C. Leemans. Boro-boedoer op het Eiland Java. 1873, 
H. D. Levyssohn Norman. Britsche Heerschappij over Java en 

Onderhoorigheden. 1857. 
P. A. VAN DER LiTH., Nederlandsch Oost-Indie. 1892 (second ed.), 
J. A. LOEB&R Jr. Het Vlechtwerk in den Indischen Archipel. 1 902. 
J. A. LOEBilR Jr. Javanische Schattenbilder. 1908. 
J. DE LOUTER. Handleiding tot de Kennis van het Stoats- en 

Administratief Recht van Nederlandsch Indie. 1895 (new ed.). 
P. J. F. Louw (cont. by E. S. DE Klerck). De Java-Oorlog. 

1909 (sixth vol.). 
L. Th. Mayer. De Javaan als Mensch en als Lid van het 

Javaansche Huisgezin. 1894. 
L. Th. Mayer. Een Blik in het Javaansche Volksleven. 1897. 
J. J. MEINSMA. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Oost-Indische 

Bezittingen. 1872. 

G. Nypels. Oost-Indische Krijgsgeschiedenis. 1895. 
T. S. Raffles. History of Java. 1 81 7. 

G. C. K. DE Reus. Geschichtliche Uberblick der administrativen, 
rechtlichen und Jinamiellen Entwicklung der Niederldndisch- 
Ostindischen Compagnie. 1894. 

C. B. H. VON Rosenberg. Der malayische Archipel. 1879. 

G. P. Rouffaer. De voornaamste Indusirieen der Bevolking van 
Java en Madoera. 1904. 


L. Serrurier. De Wajang Poerwa, eene Ethnologische Studie. 

C. Snouck HURGRONJE. Nederland en de Islam. 191 1. 
F. V. A. DE Stuers. Mdmoire sur la Guerre de Vile de Java 

182S-1830. 1833. 

F. Valentijn. Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien. 1724-61 (1856-8 and 

1862 new but incomplete edns.). 
R. D. M. Verbeek. Oudheden van Java. Lijst der voornaamste 

Overblijfselen uit den Hindoe-tijd op Java, met eene Oudheid- 

kundige Kaart van Java. 1 8 9 1 , 
P. J. Veth. Java. Geographisch, ethnologisch, historisch (1895, 

new ed. by J. F. Snelleman and J. F. Niermeyer). 
E. de Waal. Nederlandsch Indie in de Staten Generaal sedert 

de Grondwet van 18 14. 18 60-1. 
E. DE Waal. De Koloniale Politiek der Grondwet en hare 

Toepassing tot i Februari 1862. 1863. 
E. DE Waal. Aanteekeningen over Koloniale Onderwerpen. 

A. R. Wallace. The Malay Archipelago. 1869. 
A. W. P. Weitzel. De Oorlog op Java. 1852-3. 

G. A. Wilken. Handleiding voor de vergelijkende Volkenkunde 

van Nederlandsch Indie (ed. by C. M. Pleyte). i 893. 

G. D. WiLLlNCK. De Indien en de nieuwe Grondwet. 19 10. 

A. Wright and O. T. Breakspear. Twentieth Century Impres- 
sions of Netherlands India (Pleyte, van Erp and van 
RONKEL on Archaeology, etc.). 1909. 


(Of the words here explained, only the meaning or meanings are given, attached to them 
in this book.) 

agama buda — lit. Buddhist creed ; in native parlance, however, the 

word includes every pre-Muhammadan religion. 
aksara — character representing a Javanese consonant. 
aloon aloon — square or outer court before the dwelling of a native 

prince or chief. 
ampilan — articles of virtu belonging to a royal family, emblems of 

amrita — immortality, all-light ; rejuvenating nectar of the gods. 
api — fire. 
afisara — heavenly nymph, produced by the churning of the ocean and 

living in the sky ; spouse of a gandharva. 
arahat — he who has become worthy. 
astana — abode of some exalted personage. 
avatar — descent of a deity from heaven to assume a visible form on 

earth ; incarnation of a god, especially of Vishnu. 

babad — chronicle. 

banaspati {wanaspatt) — conventional lion's (or tiger's) head, a fre- 
quently occurring motive in the ornament of Javanese temples. 

banjir- — freshet. 

batik — the art of dyeing woven goods by dipping them in successive 
baths of the required colour, the parts to be left undyed being 
protected by applying a mixture of beeswax and resin. 

batu {watu) — stone. 

bedoyo — young female or male dancer of noble birth at the Courts of 
Surakarta and Jogjakarta. 

bikshu — Buddhist mendicant monk. 

bolook — squirrel of the Pteromys nitidus and Pteromys elegans variety. 

boreh — preparation of turmeric and coconut-oil used in sacrifice and 
acts of adoration. 

bupati — regent. 

chaitya — place deserving worship or reverence. 

289 U 


chakra — disk, wheel. 

champaka — tree, Michelia Champaca X., fam. Magnoliaceae, with 

sweet-smelling flowers. 
chandi — any monument of Hindu or Buddhist origin. 

dagob — structure raised over a relic of the Buddha or a Buddhist 

dalam — lit. inside ; private apartments of a royal palace or the 

dwelling of a chief. 
dessa — village. 
dzikr—'ixX.. remembrance ; invocation of God. 

gamelan — native orchestra. 

gandharva — heavenly singer, whose especial duty it is to guard the 

soma, to regulate the course of the sun's horses, etc. 
gardu — guard-house. 

garebeg besar — feast of the sacrifice {id al-qorban). 
garebeg mulood — feast of the Prophet's birth (maulid). 
garebeg puasa — feast of the breaking of the fast {id al-fitr). 
garuda — mythical monster-bird, enemy of the serpent-race ; bearer of 

grobak — cart. 
gunoong — mountain. 
guru — teacher. 

hadat — usage, traditional custom. 
haji — one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. 
hinayanistic — pertaining to the canon of the southern Buddhist 
church or doctrine of the Lesser Vehicle. 

inya — nurse, maid, waiting-woman. 

ishta devata — pre-eminent god chosen for particular worship. 

jaman (zaman) buda — lit the time of the Buddha, pre-Muhammadan 

jataka — birth, nativity ; jataka-X3\e,% : stories connected with the birth 

and life of the Buddha in one of his successive existences on 


kabayan — chief of a community. 

kakih — old man, grandfather. 

kala — time as the destroyer of all things, the bringer of death ; 

kali — river. 
kamboja — tree, Plumeria acutifolia Pair., fam. Apocynaceae, often 

found in cemeteries, the sweet-smelling flowers of which are 

much used in funeral rites. 
kampong — group of native dwellings. 


kananga — tree, Cananga odoraia Hook. f. et Th., fam. Anonaceae, 

with sweet-smelling flowers. 
kanari — tree, Canarium commune Z., fam. Burseraceae, frequently met 

in gardens and planted along roads for its shade. 
kanjerijg goosti — a high title of honour. 
kantil — flower of the champaka. 
kedaton — that part of a princely residence occupied by its owner, his 

wives, concubines and children. 
kembang telon — flowers of sacrifice, especially melati, kananga and 

ketiq — monkey. 
kidool — south. 
kinnari — bird-people. 
kitab — book. 

klenteng — Chinese temple, .joss-house. 
krakal {ngrakat) — hard labour in the chain-gang. 
kramat — holy grave. 

kraton — residence of a reigning native prince. 
kulon — west. 
kurang wang — lacking money. 

lakon — Javanese drama. 

legen — a liquor prepared by fermentation of the sap drawn from some 

trees of the palm family. 
linga — male organ of generation, emblem of Siva's fructifying power. 
lantar — high-growing tree, Borassus flabelliformis L., fam. Falmae, 

with large fan-like leaves. 
lor — north. 
loro — a title designating a lady of very high birth. 

machan — tiger. 

mahayanistic — pertaining to the canon of the northern Buddhist 

church or doctrine of the Greater Vehicle. 
makara — a mythical sea-monster. 
makuta — head-dress, crown, crest. 
mantri — in Malay countries a native official of high rank j minister of 

state, councillor ; in Java a native official of lower rank. 
maryam — cannon. 
mas — lit. gold ; title given to native noblemen and also, in courteous 

address, .to commoners. 
ffiboq — title given to women in courteous address. 
melati — shr\xh, Jasminum Sambac Ait., fam. Oleaceae, with sweet- and 

rather strong-smelling flowers. 
meliwis — a kind of duck. 
mesdjid — mosque. 
murid — disciple. 

naga — serpent. 


narasinfia — man-lion . 

negri jawa — country of the Javanese, Java. 

nirvana — extinction of existence, the highest aim and highest good. 

oombool — source, well. 

oorna — tuft or bunch of hair between the Buddha's eyebrows. 

orang kechil — lit. the little men, the lower classes. 

orang slam. — Muhammadan. 

orang wolanda — Hollander. 

padi — rice in the hull. 

padmasana — lotus cushion or seat. 

padri — one of a sect which, in the manner of the Wahabites, tried to 

rouse the Muhammadans of the Padang Highlands in Sumatra 

to more orthodox zeal. 
paman — uncle on the father's side ; appellation used in respectful 

address of any senior in years. 
panakawan — page, follower, retainer. 
panchuran — water-conduit. 
pangeran — ^prince. 

pantoon — old and still very popular form of native poetry. 
pasangan — character representing a Javanese consonant in the 

place or (generally modified) form which marks the vowelless 

sound of the preceding one. 
pasangrahan — rest-house for officials on their tours of inspection. 
pasar — market. 
payoong — sunshade. 

pendopo — open audience-hall in the dwellings of the great. 
prabha — light, radiance, aureole. 
pulu — island. 

puri — name of the princely residences in Bali and Lombok. 
pusaka — heirloom. 

raden — title of nobility. 

raksasa — evil spirit, ogre, generally of hideous appearance though the 
female (raksasi) sometimes allures man by her beauty ; raksasas 
do service as doorkeepers at the entrances of some Javanese 

ratu — title for royal personages ; king, queen. 

recho {rejo)—a.ny sort of statue. 

sakti — personification of the energy or active power of a deity as his 

spouse ; a god's female complement. 
sangharama — endowed convent. 
sanka — conch-shell blown as a horn. 
sankara — auspicious ; causation of happiness. 
saptaratna — the seven treasures. 
sasrakan — wedding-present. 


satrya — noble knight. 

sawah — watered ricefield. 

selir — wife of lower degree than the padmi or first legitimate spouse. 

sembah — v. salute ; n. (jiersembah'an) salutation. 

slamat (salamaf) — success, blessing, prosperity. 

soma — beverage of the gods. 

srimpi — ^young female dancer of noble birth at the Courts of Surakarta 

and Jogjakarta. 
sfufia — mound, tumulus ; edifice raised to commemorate some event 

in the life of a Buddhist saint or to mark a sacred spot. 
sugata — pious brother on the road to Buddhist perfection. 
suling — native reed-pipe. 
sumoor — source, spring. 
susah — trouble. 

taman — pleasaftce. 

fara — spouse of a Dhyani Buddha. 

telaga — lake. 

tempo dahulu — olden time. 

tengger — pieces of wood or stone posts set up at the head- and foot- 
end of graves. 

tesbek — string of prayer-beads. 

trimoorti — (Hindu) trinity. 

trishula — trident. 

tumenggoong — regent in an ofificial capacity somewhat diflferent from 
that of a bupati. 

upachara — royal heirloom. 

upawita — thread or cord worn by high-caste Hindus over the left 
shoulder and passing under the right arm. 

vahana — any vehicle or means of conveyance ; animal carrying a 
deity, representative of his characteristic qualities. 

vihara — monastery ; Brahma Viharas : sublime conditions of perfec- 

■wall — governor or administrator of a province ; name given to those 
who introduced the Muhammadan religion in the island. 

waringin (beringin) — tree of the genus Ficus of which the most 
frequent types in Java are the F. consociaia Bl., the F. stupenda 
Miq., the F. Benjaminea L. and the F. elasUca Roxb. 

wayang — lit. shadow ; the Javanese national theatre, which seems to 
have a religious origin : the invocation of the shades of deified 

wedono — native chief of a district. 

wetan — east. 

yoni — female organ of generation, emblem of the fecundity of Siva's 
sakti or female complement. 


Abool Karim, 32 

Acheh, 6-7 

Adi-Buddha, 256, 259 

Adityawarman, King, 13 

Ageng, Sooltan, 115-116 

Ageng Pamanahan, Kiahi, 115, 124 

Aji Saka, 122 

Ajunta, 252 

Akshobhya, 181 (note), 246, 273 

AU Moghayat Shah, Sooltan, 7 

Amitabha, 162, i8l (note), 246, 

256, 264, 270, 273 
Amoghasiddha, 181 (note), 256 
Anasupati, Prince, in, 156 
ancestor- worship, 84, 125 
Angka Wijaya, King, 7 
Angkor- Vat, 2-3 
Anyer, 10, 52 

apes, descendants of sacred, 44, 152 
apsaras, 85, 95-96, 279-280 
Arabs, 6-7 
archadomas, 37 
Archaeological Commission, x-xi, 16- 

17, 62, 159 
Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta, 

77-78. 189 
Arjuno, 45, 49, 58 
Arjuno (Widadaren), volcano, 157 
Arjuno temple group, 47, 49, 55- 

S8, S9 
Arjuno Wiwaha, 168 
arts, crafts and industries, 14, 17, 

100, 135 
Asoka, King, 185, 235 

babads, 4 (note), 70-75, 108, 157- 
158, 192-196, 266-270 

Badooy, 24 

Bagelen, 40, 50, 66, 123 (note) 

Baker, Captain, 55 

Balambangan, 13, 113, 115, 116, 

Bali, 3, 13, 113, 148, 164, 172, 173- 

Banaspati, 39, 134, 153, 156, 201, 

204, 226, 249 
Bandoong, 122 
Bantam, 9-12, 24-27, 29-32, 115- 

116, 145 
Banyu Biru, 1,30, 152-153 
Banyumas, 40, 66, 123 (note) 
Barudin, Prince, 24 
Batalha, 80 

Batavia, 9-12, 116-119, 148 
Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, 

61 (note), 76 (note), 163, 166, 

226 (note), 260 (note) 
bathing, 34, 130, 132, 136, 152- 

Batoor, 41-42, 50 
Batu Tulis, 23, 36-37 
Berg, Prof. L. W. C. van den, 180 
Besuki, 123 (note), 141 
Bimo, 45, 60 (note), 270 
Bodhisatvas, 83-84, loi, 180, 181 

(note), 187, 256, 273 
Bogor (Buitenzorg), 23, 35-37 
Bondowoso, Raden Bandoong, 70-75, 

192-196, 236 
Borneo, 17, 113, 116 
Bosboom, H. D. H., 131 (note) 
Brahma, 82, 101, 177, 189, 198, 

Brahmanism, 5, 176-177, 200, 282 
Brandes, Dr. J. L. A., x, 4 (note), 

17, 19, 142, 155, 156, 159-161, 

163, 175, 213-214, 218, 266 

(note), 268-9 




Brandstetter, Prof. R., 24 (note) 

Brata Yuda, 45, 88, 108, no, 124, 

Brumund, J. F. G., 15, 202, 241 

Buddha, 88, 104, 130, 177-180, 183, 
208, 210, 222-225, 235 (note), 
247-248, 253-257, 263, 270, 
272-274, 276-280, 282, 284 

Buddha-fort, 49 

Buddha-roads, 50-51 

Buddhism and Buddhists, 5, 6, 12- 
13> 69-70, loi, 113, 125, 142- 
143. IS7, 159, 162, 163-164,. 
177-180, 183-188, 200-201, 
217-218, 241, 259-260, 274, 
276-280, 282 

Bukit Tronggool, 36 

Burnouf, Eugene, 123, 179 

cave temples, 105, 154 
chandis — 

Andorowati, 55, 61 

Arjuno with house of Samar, 49, 

Bimo (Wergodoro), 47, 49, 55, 

59-61, 237 
Boro Budoor, xii, 5, 13, 14, 17, 

18-19. 35. 37, SS. 61, 70, 88, 

106, 141, 142, 149, 159, 164, 
196, 207, 210, 212, 213, 221, 
222, 223, 230-232, 233-265, 

Bubrah, 190 

Cheto, 100, 105-108, 141, 148 

Chupuwatu, loi 

Dapoor, 229 

Darawati, 104 

Derma, 155, 231 

Gatot Kocho, 55, 61 

Geblak, 190 

Ijo, 105 

Jaboong, 154-15S. IS9 

Jalatoonda, 153 

Kalasan (Kali Bening), 6, 100, 

181-184, 203, 210 
Kali Chilik, 151, 154 
Kalongan, 189 
Kedaton, 175 
Kidal, 156-157 
Loomboong, 190 
Loro Jonggrang, 13, 70-75, 79, 

107, 137 
Machan Puti, 175 

Mendoot, xii, 17, 18, 37, 70, 84, 
101, 141, 142, 180, 207-228, 

Ngaglik, 190 
Ngetos, 154 
Ngrajeg, 227 
Panataran, 142, 148, 151, 157, 

159, 160, 164-170, 173, 188, 

203, 215 
Papoh, 151-152 
Parikesit, 61 

Pawon, xii, 18 (note), 229-230 
Perot, 43, 230 
Plahosan, 64, 185-188, 203 
Poontadewa, 57-58 
Pringapoos, 43, 230 
Putri Jawa, 153 
Sajiwan, 189 
Sari, 26, 184-185, 203 
Sembrada, 57-58 
Sewu, 36, 64, 76, 142, 185, 189- 

203, 210, 269 
Singo, 202-203 
Singosari, 157-158, 162 
Srikandi, 56-58 
Suku, 100, 105-108, 141 
Surawana, 153, 168, 175 
Tagal Sari, 151 
Tegawangi, 175 
Toompang (Jago), 17, 142, 143, 

148, 155. 158-163, 164, 168, 

173. 251 
Watu Gudik, 190 
cemeteries and holy graves, 29-32, 

124-127, 147 
Central Java, 5,8, 11, 13, 17, 25- 

27. 31-32, 35, 37. 78, 99-139. 

140, 141, 142, 145, 148, 151, 

172, 177-206, 207-232, 233- 

265, 266-284 
Ceram, 113 

Ceylon, 199, 208, 235-236 
Chandra, 83, 280 
Cheribon, 4-8, 14, 25-27, 32-34, 

115-116, 123 (note) 
Cheringin, 10, 52 
Chilegon, massacre at, 32 
China and Chinese influences, 33-34, 

111-112, 134, 158, 163-164 
Chinese temples, 33-34, 163 
Chipanas, 149 
Chondro di Muka, 51 
Christianity, 6, 8, 12, 38, 102, 

148-150, 169, 179, 277-278, 




Chulalongkorn, Somdetch Phra Para- 
mindr, late King of Siam, 222- 
223, 236, 243-245, 247, 256, 
261-262, 263 

cloud-faces, 170 

Coen, Jan Pietersz, 27-29 

Cohen Stuart, Dr. A. B., 15, 40 

Cornelius, H. C, 15, 54. 76, 238, 

country-seats, 129-130, 149 

crater-lakes, 50, 52 

Crawfurd, John, 15 


Daendels, Governor-General H. W., 

33 (note), 118-H9 
Daha, 109-112, 141, 145, 150, 154, 

Damar Wulan, 123, 153, 165 
dancing, 85.95-96,132-133, 136,279 
Deriiak, 8, 25-26, 31-32, 106, 114- 

Dhyana Buddhas, 162, 180, 181 

(note), 182, 201, 221, 235, 237, 

246, 259, 272-274, 281 
Dieng plateau, 5, 40-68, 107, 109 
dilettantism, 14, 16-18, 78, 166-167, 

216, 241-242 
Dinoyo, 156 
Dipo Negoro (Pangeran Anta Wiria), 

119-120, 121, 240 
Doorga (Kali, Parvati, Uma), 6 

(note), 28, 56, 80-82, 89-91, 

108, 153, 158, 174, 221, 262 
Douwes Dekker, Eduard, (Multatuli), 

207 (note) 
Drajat, 8 

Dravidian style, 55, 60, 230 
Duomo at Pisa, 262 

East India Company (Dutch), 9, 27- 

29. 38, 115-119. 145 
East Java, 7-8, 17, 23, 26, 99, io6, 

108-117, 123, 140-176 
eastern empires, 7-8, 23, 99, 106, 

109-115, 123, 140-150, 154, 

IS5. 157. 159 
Engelhard, Nicolaus, 20 
English trading relations and British 

Interregnum, 8, 14-15, 27, 54, 

76, 119 

Erlangga, King, 153 

Erp, Major T. van, xii, 19 (note), 

61-62, 76-77, 190, 202, 227 

(note), 246, 260 

fables, 166, 198, 218-221, 253 

Fa Hien, 5 

Fergusson, James, 5, 15, 55-56, 60, 

100, 105, 106, 165, 211, 217, 

234, 252 
Foucher, A., 259 (note) 
Friedrich, R. H. Th., 15 
Fry, Roger, 252 


Gajah Mada, 114, 155, 158 

gandharvas, 96, 187 

Ganesa, ix, 28, 43, 56, 80-82, 107, 

153. 157, 205 
Gazali, 180 
Giri, 7-8, 13, 26, 144 
Girilaya, Panambahan, 26-27 
Goram islands, 113 
Gresik, 7, 114, 115 
Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm, 220 
Groneman, Dr. J., 136 (note), 172 

Guna Darma (Oondagi), Kiahi, 248, 

Gunoong Jati, 33, 35 


Ham, P. H. van der, 226, 230 
Hamer, C. den, 226 
hanasima inscription, 55 
Hanoman, 44, 88, 144, 150 
Harris, J. C, 220 (note) 
Hartingh, Nicolaas, 131 
Hartman, Resident, 211 
Hasan ad-Din, Maulana, 25-26, 29-32 
Hazeu, Dr. G. A. J., 170 
Hayam Wurook, 113, 166 
Hinduism and Hindus, 5, 12-13, 23, 

33. 35, 99-101. IIS, 125, 137. 

144-145, 179-180 
Hiuen Tsiang, 143, 186-187, 259 
Hoevenaars, Father P. J., 209, 237, 

259 (note) 
Hollander, ■ Dr. J. J. de, 24 (note) 
Hopkins, Prof. E. Washburn, 126 




Horsfield, Thomas, 54, 105, 164, 

horticulture, 134 
Houtman, Cornells, 9 
Hunter, Sir William W., 178, 278 

Ibn Batutah, 7 

Imhoff, Governor - General G. W. 

Baron van, 76 
Imogiri, 125, 127 
inscriptions, 5, 35 (note), 41, 64-65, 

91-95, 100, loi, 105, 108, 158, 

182, 196 
Islam in Java, 6-8, 12-14, 23-26, 30- 

33. 35. 38, 68, I02, 106, iio- 

III, 113-116, 124, 125, 144- 

145, 148-150, 154, 155-156, 

179, 180, 241, 282 
Islam in Sumatra, 6-7, 13 

Jarabi, 17 

jataka tales and reliefs, 123, 243, 

253, 255, 261, 272 
Java War, 1 19-120, 240-241 
Jayabaya, King, 1 10 
Jimboon, Panambahan, 32 
Jipang, 26 (note), 115 
Jogjakarta, 13, 98, 102-103, 120, 

181, 182, 207, 270 
Johnson, Resident, 105 
Jonge, J. K. J. de, 267 (note), 269 

Jonggrang, Loro, 70-75, 89-91, 105, 

106, 192-195 
Joomprit, 44 
Junghuhn, F. W., x, 15, 48, 55, 59, 

64, 67, 107 
JuynboU, Dr. H. H., 101 (note), 173 


Kadu, 5, 40, 50, 66, 123 (note), 
207-232, 233-265, 266-284 

Kahuripan, 110 

kala-makara motive, x, 57, 60, 249, 

Kalayalang, Prince, 24 

Kalinga, 35 (note) 

Kalinjamat, 8 

Karang Antu, 10-12, 28 (note) 

Karanglo, 156 

Kartawijaya, Pangeran, later Sooltan 

Anom, 26 
Katu, 156 

Kawa Kidang, 47, 51-52, 61, 67 
Kawit Paru, 28 (note) 
Kediri, 109-110, 115, 120, 123, 140- 

141, 143. 151. 164 
Keloot (volcano), 154 
Ken Angrok, King, iio-iii, 113, 

141, 146 
Kenya, Ratu, 153, 165-166 
Kern, Prof. J. H. C, 4, 143 (note), 

Kersnayana, 1 68 
Kertanegara, King, 111-112, 157- 

Kertarajasa (Raden Wijaya), King, 

Kidangpenanjong, 37 
Kjnsbergen, I. van, 64, 239 
Kitab Ambia, 124 
Kitab Papakan, 33 
Kitchener, Lord, 228 
Klerck, Captain E. S. de, 240 
Kondoty, 252 

Koomba-rawa and Koomba-rawi, 1 1 
Kota Batu, 35-36 
Kota Bedah, 155-156 
Kraeng Galesoong, 116 
Krakatoa, 10, 52 
Krom, Dr. N. J., xi, xii 
Kutara Manawa, 33 

Lady of Mystery, 103, 182-183, 201 

Lakshmi, 83 

Lalita Vistara, 254 

Lampongs, 25 

language, 122-124 

Leemans, Dr. C, 15, 239 

legend of the chandi Loro Jonggrang, 

legend of the chandi Sewu, 191- 196 
legend of the Guwa Aswotomo, 58-59 
Lessing, Gotthold Ephr., 81, 216 
Leyden, Dr. J., 15 
Libro del Principe, a Hindu-Javanese, 

linga and linga-worship, 5, 13-14, 56, 

59, 100, 101, 106, 153, 257 
literature, 122-124, 140, 161, 168- 

Lombok, 172, 174-175 
Lons, 76 



Lotchana, 181 (note) 
Louw, Captain P. J. F., 240 
Luar Batang, 31 


Mackenzie, Colonel, 15 
Madioon, 105, 123 (note), 141 
Madura, 3, 8, 115, 116, 141 
Magna Graecia, 2 
Mahabharata, 45 (note), 88, 1 10, 168, 

Maheso, 81 
Maja, Kiahi, 119, 241 
Malacca, 7, 113, ii5 
Malang, 114, 155-156, 158, 162, 163, 

Malik Ibrahim, Maulana, 7, 114, 144 
Mamakhi, 162, 181 (note) 
Mangku Buwono I. (Mangku Bumi), 

118, 131, 133, 135, 268-269 
Mangku Buwono II., 119, 120 (note), 

144 (note) 
Mangku Buwono III., 119 
Mangku Negara I., Ii8 
Mangku Rat I., 116, 128 
Mangku Rat II., 267-268 
Mangku Rat IV., 267 (note) 
Manik Maya, 122 
Mara (Papiyan), 255, 279-280, 284 
Marco Polo, 7 

Marco, San, at Venice, 254, 262 
Mardiiki, 32 
Marsden, W., 1-5 
Martawijaya, Pangeran, later Sooltan 

Sepooh, 14, 26 
Mataram, 8, 26-27, 78. 108-109, 

116-119, 125, 142, 144 (note), 

145, 155, 205, 266-270 
mausolea, 29, 77-78, 150-151, 153, 

156, 157-158. 165, 173, 190, 

Medang; 109 

Meinsma, J. J., 266 (note) 
Menak- (Hamza-) cycle, 122 
Menangkabau, 7, 13, 113 
Merapi (volcano), 69, 225, 237-238, 

264, 282 
Merbabu, 264, 282 
Metteya Buddha, 199, 265 
middle empires, 8, 25-27, 31-32, 

78,, 106, 108-109, 1 14-120, 

142, 144 (note), 145, 155, 205, 

Minahassa, 20 

miraculous voices, 61, 66, 271 
miraculous wells, 31 
Mojokerto, iii, 145, 153, 228 
Mojopahit, 7-8, 23, 99, 106, iio- 
114, 123, 140, 141, 142-149, 

IS4. 155. 172. 174. 175. 228 
Moluccos, 27 

monasteries, 26, 102, 183-188 
Mondoroko, 158 
monkey-stone, 64-66 
Montpezir, 252 
Moonding Wangi, 36 
Mossel, Governor-General J., 269 
Mpu Gandring's kris, lio-iil, 113, 

146 ~ - 

Mpu Kanwa, 168 
Mpii Panulooh, 110 
Mpu Sedah, 1 10 
Mpu Sindok, 155 
Muhammad, Pangeran, 29, 30 
Muhammad Ali, Pangeran, 30 
Miiller, Prof. Max, 220 (note) 
museum of antiquities at Leyden, 2 1 , 

55. 162 
museum at Batavia, 162 
"museum" at Jogakarta, 77. I04i 

188, 196, 200 
music, 85, 132-133, 172 (note) 


Nalanda, 186-187 

native courts, 127-129, 132-139 

Ngampel, 8 

nirvana, 201, 204, 260, 273, 276- 

Noor ad-Din Ibrahim bin Maulana 
Israil, Sunan Gunoong Jati, 8, 

25. 32-33. 34 
Noro Pati, King, 35 


opium, 42, 204 

ornament, 3, 38, 57, 60, 70, 83-88, 
105-107, 141-142, 150, 153, 
IS5. 156-157. 164. 166-170, 
175, 182, 184-185, 187-188, 
190, 198-203, 217, 221, 237, 
247-248, 249, 250, 251-255, 
260, 262 

Padang Highlands, 7, 13 



Padmapani ( Avalokitesvara), 1 80, 

181 (note), 256, 273 
padris, 7 

Pagar Rujoong, 7 
Pajajaran, 7, 23, 27, 28, 35-37. m, 

Pajang, 8, II, 26, 115 
Pakaraman (valley of death), 42, 51, 

52 (note) 
Pakentan, 156 
Paku, Raden (Sunan Prabu Satmoto), 

7. 144 
Paku Buwono I., 117-118 
Paku Buwono II., 118 
Paku Buwono III., 118-119 
Paku Buwono IV., 122 
Palembang, 7, 13, 113 
Pandara, i8l (note), 273 
pandavas, 58, 270 
Panji-cycle, no, 122 
Pararaton, 4 (note), 108, 150 
Pasar Gedeh, 124-127 
Pasei, 6 
Pasuruan, no, 115, 123 (note), 

140-141, 143, 152, 153. 15s 
Patah, Raden, 26, 114, 144 
Pekalongan, 40, 41,51, 66, 123 (note) 
Pinang gate, 9 
Poensen, Prof. C, 268 
poetry, 24, no, 122, 160-161, 168- 

Poir^, Emm., (Caran d'Ache), 220 

Pondok Gedeh, 37 
Poorwa, Haji, 7 
Poorwakali, 36-37 
Portuguese, 8, 25-26 
Prambanan temple group, 13, 55, 

60, 69-98, loi, 106, 109, 141, 

142, 168, 173, 180, 189, 197- 

198, 202, 210, 251 
pre-Hindu times, 4-12, 84, 125 
Priangan (Preanger Regencies), 24, 

35, 41, 120 
Principalities, 11, 13, 66, 99, 119- 

139, 177-206 
Probolinggo, 123 (note), 141, 154 
public works, department of, 21, 

Purana, Parabu Raja, 23 
Pururava, King, 17 

Qoran, 13, 91, 260 


Raffles, Sir Thomas Stamford, 14- 
15. S4. 76, 119. 145-146. 162, 
236, 238 

Rahmat, Raden, 7 

Raja Pirongan, 124 

raksasas, 126, 153, 154, 157, 165, 

188, 191, 201 

Ramayana, 83, 86-87, 88, 107, 124, 
150, 166, 167-168, 171, 178, 

189, 198 
Ratnapani, 181 (note) 
Ratnasambhava, 181 (note), 256, 

Rawa Baleh Kambang, 48, 56, 58- 

Rawa Glonggong, 48, 60 
recalcitrant spiral, 142 
Reimer, Lieutenant-Colonel C. F., 

Reinwardt, Prof. C. G. C, 162 
Rembang, 123 (note), 141, 152 
restoration, 18, 19, 213-215, 226, 

246, 260-261, 263 (note) 
Retna Sakar Mandhapa, Princess, 28 
rock carving, 4 

Roorda van Eysinga, P. P., 236, 238 
Rouffaer, G. P., x, 100, 104, 143, 

159, 162, 170, 175, 182, 212 
Ruskin, John, 18, 141, 181 (note) 

Sabrang Lor, Pangeran, 32 
sacrifice to the old gods, 43, 61, 89- 

91, 224, 230-231, 270 
Salsette, 252 

Samantabhadra, 181 (note) 
Samar, 45, 55-57 
Samarang, 40, 66, 123 (note), 141 
San-bo-tsai, 13 
Sanjaya, King, 100 
Satomi, Niahi, 9-12, 28 (note) 
Satomo, Kiahi, 9-12, 28 (note) 
Scheltema, Dr. M. W., 125 (note) 
sculpture, 37, 57, 60, 83-84, 85-88, 

102-103, 105-107. 142, 148, 

152-153. 157-158. 162. 163, 

166-170, 182, 184-185, 187- 

188, 189 (note), 190, 198, 203, 

211, 217, 221-224, 235, 237, 

244, 246-247, 252-257, 259- 
260, 262-263 
Selo, 125, 127- 



Sentot (All Bassa Prawira Dirja), 

119, 241 
Serat Baron Sakendher, 28-29 
Serrurier, Dr. L., 172, 203 
Shafei (Muhammad Ibn Edris al-), 


Sicily, 12 

Siladitiya, King, 277 

Sili Wangi, Prince, 26 

Simboongan, 49-50 

Sindoro (volcano), 43, 56 

Singoro, 156 

Sita, 88, 150 

Siva (Kala, the Mahadava, the Bhat- . 
ara Guru, etc.), 5, 6, 28, 43, 
51, 56, 61, 68, 78-79, 80-84, 
88, 92-95, loi, 102, 107, 108, 
137. 153, 156, 157-158. 166, 
168, 174, 177, 179, 189, 198, 
208, 221, 263 

Sivaism and Saivas, 5, 13, 49, 69- 
70, 92-95, loo-ioi, 113, 114- 
115, 125-126, 142-143, 155- 
156. 157-158, 159. 164, 174, 

Skanda (ICartikeya), 9, 28, 108 

Snouck Hurgronje, Prof. C, 263 

Soissons, Count de, 164 

Sookmool, Baron, 28, 38 

Soombawa, 17, 113 

Soombing (volcano), 43, 50, 71-72, 
74, 264, 282 

Soonda Kalapa, 25 

Speelwijck (fort), 29 

Speyer, Prof. J. S., 159, 253 

spoliation and neglect, ix-xii, 14- 
16, 19-21, 43, 55, 58, 61-64, 
76-78, 102-104, 147, 162-163, 
166-167, 176, 182, 186, i88- 
190, 196-197, 200-203, 210, 
213-216, 226, 228, 238-247, 

statue in the mud, 259-260, 263, 

Sugriva, King, 44, 88, 144 

Sumatra, 7, 13, 17, 25, 113, 228 

Sumedang, 116 

Sunyaragi, 34 

Surabaya, 26, no, 115, 123 (note), 
140-141, 143, 152, 153 

Surakarta, 11, 13, 98, 120, 127 
(note), 141, 181, 189 

Surya, 83, 190-191, 203, 206, 254, 
■ 283 

SutaWijaya, 115, 124, 126 

syncretism, 39, 68, 84, 113, 124, 
125* 134. 138, 142-143. 157- 
158, 159. 178-180, 182, 190, 
205, 222-224, 260, 262-263, 

Tagal, 34, 123 (note) 

Tanaruga, Princess, 28 

Tanduran, Raden, in 

Tara, 181, 201 

Taruna Jaya, 116 

Temanggoong, 42-43, 44 

Tengger and Tenggerese, 13, 115, 

145, 156 
terraces, 33, 35, 86, 106, 155, 159, 

160, 166, 197, 238, 247, 252- 

257, 269 
theatre, 53-54, 170-174 
Tingkir, Sooltan, 115 
Tirtayasa, Sooltan, 27 
tolerance, 84, 113, 124, 159, 263 
Tonnet, Miss Marline, 142 (note), 

151 (note), 175 (note) 
tower-construction, 155, 159 
Tranggana, Pangeran, 26, 32, 114- 

treasure-hunting, 57-58, 77-78, 108, 

188, 190, 202, 211, 258-259 
trimoorti, 70, 79, 84, loi, 107, 142- 

143. 177. 197. 283 
Trunajaya, 12, 27 
Tubagoos Ismail, 32 
Tuban, 8, 147 
Tumapel, 23, 110-112, 141, 150, 

157. 159 


Udayana, King, 153 
Upagoopta, 274-275 

Vajradhatvisvari, 181 (note) 

Vajrapani, 181 (note) 

Vajrochana, 181 (note), 222, 256, 

Vasavadatta, the courtesan, 274-275 
Venggi inscriptions, 5, 35 (note), 41, 

Vishnu (Rama, etc.), 83, 85-87, 100, 

106, 137, 177-178. 189. 198, 




Vishnul'sm and Vaishnavas, 4, 100- 
loi, 106, 113, 142-143, IS9 

Vishvapani, 181 (note), 256, 265, 

Vlis, C. J. van der, 105-106 

volcanic activity, 47-49, S2-S3, 61, 
69, 225, 237-238, 282 


Waddell, Dr. L. A., 179 (note), 184 

Wangsakarta, Pangeran, later Pan- 

ambahan, 27 
Wardenaar, H. B. W., 15, 76, 146 
Wasid, 32 
West Java, 5, 8, 23-39, 107, in, 

1 1 5- 1 1 7, 123 (note), 172 

western empires, 4-8, 23-37, in, 

115-116, 146 
Wielandt family, 46, 62 
Wilis (volcano), 154 
Wilsen, F. C, 15, 239 
Wonosobo, 42, 44, 62, 63 
Wretta-Sansaya, no 
Wulang Reh, 122 

Yacatra (Jakarta, Jayakarta), 24, 27, 

28 (note), 115 
Yapara, 123 (note) 
yoni, 6, 56, 153, 262 

zodiac-beakers, 151 (note) 


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LIFE IN ANCIENT ATHENS. The Social and Pubhc Life 
of a Classical Athenian from Day to Day. By Professor T. G. Tucker, 
Litt.D. Illustrated. Ss. 

Frothingham. Illustrated. los. 6d. 

GREEK ARCHITECTURE. By Professor Allan Marquand. 
Illustrated. los. net. 

Norman Gardiner, M.A. Illustrated. los. 6d. 

H. Wellbr, of the University of Iowa. Illustrated.